Like Americans, the British suffer from familiar education problems such as massive student debt, institutional budget cuts, and skills gaps between employers’ needs and students’ qualifications.

Unlike Americans, the British commonly address these problems through apprenticeships. In honor of the UK’s “National Apprenticeship Week,” we spoke with England’s “Apprentice Finder,” Adrian Bird to learn more about the success of these programs.

He acknowledged that there’s been “too much of a push towards university” in the UK, but with his student-employer matchmaker services, Mr. Bird can place candidates–both with and without degrees–into lucrative, white-collar careers. For those who do wish to get a postsecondary degree, he can advise students on how to do it for free.

Mr. Bird can be reached via Facebook, Degree4free, or at adrian.bird@theapprenticefinder.com .