Vocational Education Technical Trades Training in School for Youth Employment
Recent article from The Conversation Australia about issues in preparing Australian youth for vocational education and training, and unemployment:
‘Preparing young people for work: do we really have a crisis? In the last 12 months, Australian governments of all persuasions have alluded to a crisis in how we prepare young people for trade and technical jobs. These concerns come in response to a decline in uptake of apprenticeships and concerns about youth unemployment.
A national framework for vocational education and training (VET) for secondary school students released at the end of 2014 set a clear objective for schools in preparing young people for the world of work.
Governments across the country are announcing funding for state-of-the-art trade training facilities. The federal government is also talking up the importance of closer ties between schools and industry, with the piloting of the controversial P-Tech model.
If the policy objective is to support young people in getting sustainable employment, is building a few new trade training schools the way to go? Do we need greater input from business in schools? Is there really a problem with current approaches to trade training in schools? ……
…. A recent study of VET in Schools found vocational education programs in schools should be promoted as a pathway to higher-level post-school VET study, rather than as a pathway directly to jobs without further training.
Achieving this requires greater support for schools in making sure young people understand how to combine a VET in Schools program with their other school studies in a way that gives them the best chance of continuing in post-school training. For example, a student undertaking allied health needs to be doing biology and psychology, and a student hoping to continue into an electrical apprenticeship needs to be doing maths and science.
Strengthening trade training is not simply a question of funding new facilities. While the communities lucky enough to host a new trade training facility would certainly benefit, the resourcing could be better used in supporting schools everywhere to adjust their support of young people, and their use of VET in Schools, in response to the realities of today’s labour market.’
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