Demoralised prods: education

Kelly turns to education. He suggests:

“Working-class Protestants have never had much esteem for educational qualifications, nor for much of the last century did they require them: a trade was thought best, and-given the unabashed sectarianism within the north’s major industries-it came easy. This economic prop has since been kicked away by the decline of traditional employers such as Short’s aircraft factory and the shipbuilder Harland & Woolf.”

Billy Hutchinson on the effects of a shrinking heavy industry:

“‘Long gone are the days when Uncle Sammy got you a job in the shipyard.’ Harland & Woolf once employed 20,000 men, now it is barely 400, and increasingly it appears more interested in developing its Queen’s Island site for ‘commercial and entertainment purposes.’ Can information technology replace heavy industry as the mass employer of east Belfast Prods? Hutchinson is dubious: ‘High-tech jobs usually mean employing people with degrees. Most of the people who will lose their jobs at the shipyard are welders and joiners.'”

To David Ervine, the priorities are clear:

“‘Education, education, education.’ Catholics cottoned on to this some years ago. While Protestants took up their guaranteed apprenticeships, Catholics saw qualifications as their escape from poverty. The consequences of those respective attitudes are clear to McGimpsey in the Lower Shankill. ‘Kids round here don’t go to school,’ he says. ‘Or if they do, they don’t bother. But Catholic kids are getting their A-levels and going to university. They’re writing poetry, and our kids are painting graffiti on the walls.'”

Previously interface.


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.