With many graduates roaming the streets in search for jobs without relevant experience and skills that empower them to be relevant to the job market or to become job creators, the option of vocational training may be worth the venture because it the most practical avenue for acquiring readily employable skills for the world of work.
In tackling the global youth employment crisis, characterized by high levels of unemployment and low paying jobs, vocational training can help minimize skills mismatches that disproportionately affect young people. Moreover, orienting vocational training towards the world of work can help smooth the transition from education to employment.
Our country is stuck with the colonial education system that trains students for white collar jobs. The system has brain-washed students and parents to think that white collar jobs are what defines an individual to be a person of substance.
Society also believes that only people who have failed in academics and life are fit for vocational training. However times have changed and people ought to change their mind-set. It is vocational training that impart skills which are on high demand in the job market, or empowers one to become self-reliant. As the economy thrives and the population grows, there is an increasing demand for people who can use their skills to meet the demands of the society by providing solutions that are pertinent.
In addition, there is a high demand for technical people in the construction industry, electronics, motor vehicle repairs, wood working, metal works, bricklaying, plumbing and water engineering. Other areas include; tailoring and fashion design, cookery and catering and hair dressing. These are hands on skills that the economy of any nation needs to grow from one level to another.
As compared to university education, vocational training is relevant in the sense that it engages people in productive activities that are on demand. Many students apply for any course at the university because they lack guidance on how vocational training can impart relevant hands-on skills. It is important for students and parents to know that when one enrols for vocational training, one can later upgrade to the level of a degree.
There is need for exhibition of vocational training, for instance in trade fairs, to create awareness of its relevance and reform people’s attitude towards alternative education programmes.