Sean Brett: “Why would you send kids to college that have no particular academic hunger?”
Businessman Sean Brett believes Irish people need to open their eyes and realise that third level education is not for everyone.
Primary school. Secondary school. College. Possible post-graduate qualification. Workforce. Mortgage. Etc. It’s a well-worn path for many, many Irish people but Sean Brett – the man who founded Steeltech Sheds – believes there are other ways to build a successful life and career.
Speaking to host Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, Brett insisted that learning a trade can be more valuable to post-Leaving Cert students if they’re not academically inclined.
“In Ireland right now, and Britain the same, there is this focus on sending all children to third level schools, whereas the rest of Europe don’t have that focus,” said Sean, a 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Finalist.
“It’s ridiculous. Why would you be sending kids to school that have no particular academic hunger? Y’know, they’re good with their hands, they’re good with a trade. They could be carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders; there’s a massive gap in the market and those are good jobs. They’re great jobs. And the people are doing what they’re good at.
“And there’s great opportunity as well for starting a business if you have any of them traits. There should be more focus on trades and not trying to push the kids into third level that don’t even want to go there. There’s a little bit of snobbery around that, where people think, ‘Oh my Johnny, he’s got so many points and he’s doing this and he’s doing that.’”
Listen to the full show here…
“And if they actually talk to their kids, and they’re going to third level school… 60% of them are on their phone looking at Facebook while the lecturer is there. I’d never last as a professor because I’d be saying, ‘Get off the phone while you’re in here!’ y’know?
“And it’s party, that’s what they do for a couple of years and the parents are paying for this when the real talent is a trade. So it’s not for everybody.”