This week's Friday Boss is Keith Atwood, chief executive of E2V, formerly the English Electric Valve Company.
High specification engineering, aerospace automotive and defence is an area of manufacturing in which Britain still excels.
As chair of the CBI's Education and Skills Committee Mr Atwood explained to Today business presenter Simon Jack his view that "children and young people should develop at their own pace".
"It is very important that our education systems gives options... that suit individuals," he said, expressing his support for apprenticeship schemes and alternatives to university education.
"We shouldn't push people down the academic routes," he added.
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