King Charles III has been praised for being ‘more down to earth than the government’ as he spoke of the importance of apprenticeships.
The new monarch appeared on a special episode of The Repair Shop on Wednesday night, filmed while he was still Prince of Wales, before the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
King Charles showed the team around the grounds of Dumfries House in Scotland, where students work on everything from woodwork to horology, as part of The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit.
Speaking to presenter Jay Blades, the King noted that ‘not everybody is designed for the academic’ as he praised apprenticeships that allow students to work with their hands.
He added that the lack of vocational education schools in the UK was ‘a great tragedy.’
His words sparked a huge reaction online, with viewers flooding to Twitter to praise his attitude – and imploring the UK government to take heed.
One said they ‘absolutely agree’ with the Royal, writing: ‘The strong need for apprenticeships and vocational studies, not everyone wants or is suited to academia. As well as the vital need to keep passing on skills.’
Another tagged new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and wrote: ‘Academia might have served you well but some youngsters have other skills and need to pursue vocational paths, both to achieve their potential and to fill a skills gap. EBacc GCSEs are not the only way.’
And another shared their thoughts by agreeing: ‘Congratulations to Jay Blades and team on tonight’s #RepairShop… with King Charles, shining a light on apprenticeships and craft skills. Inspiring to watch and encouraging to see all of these diverse skills celebrated.’
Several suggested the King should ‘have a word with the newly appointed education secretary’ in the hopes his views on apprenticeships could be taken on in the mainstream.
One highly impressed viewer even suggested Charles ‘should be in charge of education’ as he ‘understands it more than the government,’ adding the episode was ‘heartwarming.’
And they weren’t the only one, with another Twitter user saying: ‘King Charles should be the education secretary, different skills for different students – not just the academic, great stuff.’
The King was Prince of Wales at the time of filming, with the special Repair Shop episode having been filmed between August 2021 and March 2022.
It is airing to mark the centenary of the BBC, and also saw Jay and the ret of the team set out to mend two objects: a piece of Wemyss Ware made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and an 18th century bracket clock.
Speaking when the episode was announced, Jay spoke about how special it was to bond with King Charles over their shared interests.
‘You’ve got someone from a council estate and someone from a royal estate that have the same interests about apprenticeships and heritage crafts, and it is unbelievable to see that two people from so far apart, from different ends of the spectrum, actually have the same interests,’ he said.
The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit is available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.