I agree that in theory a trade is a good idea. There are far too many university graduates with degrees in all manner of Mickey Mouse subjects who cannot tie their shoe laces.
There are problems with apprenticeships too especially at the hands of unscrupulous employers. I know of a case where an apprentice was put off immediately he completed his formal training and was not allowed to do the necessary 'practical' work to gain his formal qualification.
Apprentice Commission (whatever), Union both 'nothing that we can do'. He even volunteered to work for nothing to gain the practical time but I gather that that is illegal.
Sadly the many trade apprenticeships in the Railways, SEC, PMG, and other government run enterprises are long gone and we are left with the 'private sector' (the so called savior of just about everything) to fill the gap. Unfortunately part of this group is interested in nothing but money.
Don't get me wrong there are great private 'apprentice masters' but there are scum bags too who treat apprentices as little more than slave labour.