European countries are experiencing a similar set of issues right now, even those that have managed to professionalise and streamline their apprenticeship and vocational training higher education outside of the university system, like Germany.
In the UK, you may struggle to get a job as a secretary without at least a bachelor’s degree in something. Getting into consultancy usually requires a master’s at minimum. And that’s when many of us come from families in which we are the first to even attempt university.
Hopefully, the gig economy, social media and the rise of freelancing as a legitimate and (increasingly) secure career choice will help towards this.