The importance of vocational education

Many decades ago, having a degree was enough to land a good job. Maybe because there were few people who could afford to study at university level. However, since the late 1980s governments around the world have started preparing students for the work place environment.

What is vocational education (VE)? This is the training of individuals which enables them to have a better quality of life either without or together with formal education. Formal education is strict because it depends on the student’s performance on paper. This doesn’t give young people the skills needed to secure a better employment. Recognising this, many governments around the world have introduced VE together with various industries which give the young generation better chances of getting and maintaining a job.

There are different types of VE such as trading, administration, medical, creative arts, adult education and child care. In some countries VE has more scope such as agriculture and languages. The courses offered can take up to two or three years to complete. Different countries have set up their own rules and schools for VE. This also helps low income families to send their children for training. Generally, the curriculum of the courses are determined by experts in the chosen industry while the government can offer the program either for free or give a student grant.

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In most countries, VE starts from high school. Together with formal education the students have the opportunity to learn important skills that can help them perform better in their future jobs. Because of the skills imparted by VE, it’s not as futile as formal education. That is why in the modern time, there is much competition and employers tend to look for relevant skills that makes an applicant suitable for a particular job.

Most VE are practical, they require physical activity. This also makes the student active and strong compared to formal education for which the student has to sit down in one place to study. It also benefits the government so that more of the citizens are skilled workers.

VE also helps in the smooth transition from obtaining a degree to gaining employment. One of the benefit of VE is that the students already have practical experience in their chosen field and therefore don’t need any extra training. On the other hand individuals without VE may have gained an excellent degree but are suddenly thrusted into the work place environment where they can find it difficult to adjust.

Recently the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a plan to help the citizens gain skills rather than depending only on obtaining a degree for employment. This is the first major development of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee (LSG) scheme.

“Everyone will be given the chance to get the skills they need, right from the very start of their career,” he said.

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson also supported the plan.

“These reforms are at the heart of our plans to build back better, ensuring all technical education and training is based on what employers want and need, whilst providing individuals with the training they need to get a well-paid and secure job.”

Due to the pandemic, many people have lost jobs and businesses are going down. The UK government believes that introducing this scheme would help employers to get better skilled workers as they rebuild their communities.

If other governments around the world can do something similar then it would help in rebuilding the society and country at large during these hard times.

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