Vocational education and training (VET) is the ‘training in skills and teaching of knowledge related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation in which the student or employee wishes to participate1. Although each VET student may have an individual reason for choosing vocational education and training as an educational path, there are collective statistics that signify key motivators behind the decision2
- Number 1 reason among Europeans for choosing vocational education and training: was finding a job
- Number 2 ranked reason by respondents was the interest in subjects provided by VET educators
- ‘2 out of 3 Europeans have a positive opinion of vocational education and training’
- ‘87% of vocational education and training students are happy with work-related skills they developed’
- ‘60% of vocational education and training students found their first long-term job before or within a month of finishing their studies’
Specialist training increasing employability
Many students are pursuing VET in order to receive specialist training, for the industry they aspire to enter. This emphasis on unique workplace skills improve the employability of the individual significantly, as students arrive at the workplace with many of the skills the labour market demands and this creates better job opportunities for students. Many studies depict how employers aim to hire people who already have the necessary skills and experience. A report by the European centre of the Development of Vocational Training3 found that having a ‘VET certificate or diploma increased the chances of being hired and also retaining the job’. Such studies have fostered universal recognition among students that having the necessary skills for a job is becoming a prerequisite, therefore, in order to attain the jobs they desire they gain the skills required for these jobs. This leads to choosing VET courses, as traditional education is not equipped to provide specialist training.
Ability to reskill in the pursuit of personal growth
A further reason why so many students are choosing and finding success in VET is it provides the skills and format to facilitate retraining for a new career. Vocational education helps you to gain new skills required before looking for new employment. Therefore, VET provides opportunities for increased personal development and growth. With VET enabling individuals to leave their previous less preferred jobs to develop their skill base and enter new industries, creating openings for new employment opportunities. Otherwise, unfeasible without VET, as individuals would rely on self-teaching or not gaining new skills at all. Which would often make them unsuitable for the new job they apply for, as a result of the fierce competition in the labour market.
Consequently, VET courses are highly valued by students and employers. As they provide applied learning that is very skilled based and is effective in preparing students for the transition to the workplace. Therefore, participation in VET courses will continue to increase and provides alternatives to traditional education systems such as Universities.
The objective of the ENDIGI VET project is to improve the level of digital competence of VET learners to guarantee the completion of their studies and avoid their social and labour exclusion. Funded by European Commission Erasmus+ Programme.
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