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Published on October 31st, 2010 | by The Editor
Image © Earlier this month, George Osborne made a plea with the nation to return to manufacturing. BT set a good example on this front by announcing earlier this week an increase in numbers of available apprenticeships. At a time when every man and his dog has an arts degree and there are four people chasing every job in the UK, this sort of makes sense. With unemployment rates consistently high arts graduates have nothing better to do than write songs about being unemployed arts graduates. I was inspired recently, as an unemployed arts graduate myself, by Simon Jenkins’ article about the benefits of doing practical tasks with your hands. Appealing to our heads (funny, that…) Jenkins wrote “neglect the hand and you distort, torture and dissatisfy the brain”. In the current climate graduates will be forced into jobs long considered “beneath them”, such as gardening, cooking and decorating, but may actually benefit from such a change. As our arts graduate above explains, “the problem is that uni made me feel like I’m too good, for jobs involving lifting things like heavy bits of woodPhoebe's gardenSo I decided to try this for myself. Walking the walk and all. My dad offered me the opportunity of ‘working’ in our garden for a day, to which, at the time, I had turned up my arts-graduate nose. Armed with detailed instructions in one hand and spade in the other, I venture into the garden. First step, de-weeding the box hedge. Second, removing the chick-weed from the pond. Dead plants clipped and all remains on the compost heap, I return to the house. My verdict? Well, ahem. I think no matter how hard I try, I will never make it as a gardener. But I can see what Jenkins is saying. There is something therapeutic and satisfying about working with one’s hands. And it’s about time practical alternatives to university degrees were made more readily available. BT, I salute you. From the warm and comfortable chair in my study.

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Gardening Girl? Apprenticeships & Graduates

Earlier this month, George Osborne made a plea with the nation to return to manufacturing. BT set a good example on this front by announcing earlier this week an increase in numbers of available apprenticeships. At a time when every man and his dog has an arts degree and there are four people chasing every job in the UK, this sort of makes sense. With unemployment rates consistently high arts graduates have nothing better to do than write songs about being unemployed arts graduates.

I was inspired recently, as an unemployed arts graduate myself, by Simon Jenkins’ article about the benefits of doing practical tasks with your hands. Appealing to our heads (funny, that…) Jenkins wrote “neglect the hand and you distort, torture and dissatisfy the brain”. In the current climate graduates will be forced into jobs long considered “beneath them”, such as gardening, cooking and decorating, but may actually benefit from such a change. As our arts graduate above explains, “the problem is that uni made me feel like I’m too good, for jobs involving lifting things like heavy bits of wood

Phoebe's gardenSo I decided to try this for myself. Walking the walk and all. My dad offered me the opportunity of ‘working’ in our garden for a day, to which, at the time, I had turned up my arts-graduate nose. Armed with detailed instructions in one hand and spade in the other, I venture into the garden. First step, de-weeding the box hedge. Second, removing the chick-weed from the pond. Dead plants clipped and all remains on the compost heap, I return to the house. My verdict? Well, ahem. I think no matter how hard I try, I will never make it as a gardener. But I can see what Jenkins is saying. There is something therapeutic and satisfying about working with one’s hands. And it’s about time practical alternatives to university degrees were made more readily available. BT, I salute you. From the warm and comfortable chair in my study.

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