The most insulting part of his statement is that a hands on trades type job is just for the less academically adept.
While I am partial to electrician work, a trades type job is great for just about anyone.
I am actually getting out of software development full time and working toward becoming a professional electrician because I am very into renewable energy and would love to work outside installing solar and wind equipment.
Electrician, plumber, carpenter, mechanic, heavy equipment operator, landscaper, etc are all great jobs for a person who wants to do them, academically adept or not. Suggesting they are only for "less"er people is insulting, stigmatizing and shameful.