Vocational education


Vocational education, also known as career
and technical education or technical and vocational education and training is education that prepares
people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician,
or a professional position in engineering, accountancy, nursing, medicine, architecture,
pharmacy, law etc. Craft vocations are usually based on manual or practical activities, traditionally
non-academic, related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation. It is sometimes referred
to as technical education as the trainee directly develops expertise in a particular group of
techniques. It is not, however, further education. Vocational education may be classified as
teaching procedural knowledge. This can be contrasted with declarative knowledge, as
used in education in a usually broader scientific field, which might concentrate on theory and
abstract conceptual knowledge, characteristic of tertiary education. Vocational education
can be at the secondary, post-secondary level, further education level and can interact with
the apprenticeship system. Increasingly, vocational education can be recognised in terms of recognition
of prior learning and partial academic credit towards tertiary education as credit; however,
it is rarely considered in its own form to fall under the traditional definition of higher
education. Vocational education is related to the age-old
apprenticeship system of learning. Apprenticeships are designed for many levels of work from
manual trades to high knowledge work. However, as the labor market becomes more
specialized and economies demand higher levels of skill, governments and businesses are increasingly
investing in the future of vocational education through publicly funded training organizations
and subsidized apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives for businesses. At the post-secondary
level vocational education is typically provided by an institute of technology, Polytechnic,
university, or by a local community college. Vocational education has diversified over
the 20th century and now exists in industries such as retail, tourism, information technology,
funeral services and cosmetics, as well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries. VET internationally
Australia In Australia vocational education and training
is mostly post-secondary and provided through the vocational education and training system
by registered training organisations. However some senior schools do offer school-based
apprenticeships and traineeships for students in years 10, 11 and 12. There were 24 Technical
Colleges in Australia but now only 4 independent Trade Colleges remain with two in Queensland;
one in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast and one in Adelaide and Perth. This system
encompasses both public, TAFE, and private providers in a national training framework
consisting of the Australian Quality Training Framework, Australian Qualifications Framework
and Industry Training Packages which define the assessment standards for the different
vocational qualifications. Australia’s apprenticeship system includes
both traditional apprenticeships in traditional trades and “traineeships” in other more
service-oriented occupations. Both involve a legal contract between the employer and
the apprentice and provide a combination of school-based and workplace training. Apprenticeships
typically last three to four years, traineeships only one to two years. Apprentices and trainees
receive a wage which increases as they progress. Since the states and territories are responsible
for most public delivery and all regulation of providers, a central concept of the system
is “national recognition” whereby the assessments and awards of any one registered training
organisation must be recognised by all others and the decisions of any state or territory
training authority must be recognised by the other states and territories. This allows
national portability of qualifications and units of competency.
A crucial feature of the training package is that the content of the vocational qualifications
is theoretically defined by industry and not by government or training providers. A Training
Package is “owned” by one of 11 Industry Skills Councils which are responsible for developing
and reviewing the qualifications. The National Centre for Vocational Education
Research or NCVER [1] is a not-for-profit company owned by the federal, state and territory
ministers responsible for training. It is responsible for collecting, managing, analysing,
evaluating and communicating research and statistics about vocational education and
training. The boundaries between Vocational education
and tertiary education are becoming more blurred. A number of vocational training providers
such as NMIT, BHI and WAI are now offering specialised Bachelor degrees in specific areas
not being adequately provided by Universities. Such Applied Courses include in the areas
of Equine studies, Winemaking and viticulture, aquaculture, Information Technology, Music,
Illustration, Culinary Management and many more.
Commonwealth of Independent States The largest and the most unified system of
vocational education was created in the Soviet Union with the Professional`no-tehnicheskoye
uchilische and, Tehnikum. But it became less effective with the transition of the economies
of post-Soviet countries to a market economy. European Union
Education and training is the responsibility of Member States, but the single European
labour market makes some cooperation on education imperative, including on vocational education
and training. The ‘Copenhagen process’, based on the open method of cooperation between
Member States, was launched in 2002 in order to help make vocational education and training
better and more attractive to learners throughout Europe. The process is based on mutually agreed
priorities that are reviewed periodically. Much of the activity is monitored by Cedefop,
the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training
Finland In Finland, vocational education belongs to
secondary education. After the nine-year comprehensive school, almost all students choose to go to
either a lukio, which is an institution preparing students for tertiary education, or to a vocational
school. Both forms of secondary education last three years, and give a formal qualification
to enter university or ammattikorkeakoulu, i.e. Finnish polytechnics. In certain fields,
the entrance requirements of vocational schools include completion of the lukio, thus causing
the students to complete their secondary education twice.
The education in vocational school is free, and the students from low-income families
are eligible for a state student grant. The curriculum is primarily vocational, and the
academic part of the curriculum is adapted to the needs of a given course. The vocational
schools are mostly maintained by municipalities. After completing secondary education, one
can enter higher vocational schools or universities. It is also possible for a student to choose
both lukio and vocational schooling. The education in such cases last usually from 3 to 4 years.
German-language areas Vocational education is an important part
of the education systems in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland and one element
of the German model. For example, in Germany a law was passed in
1969 which regulated and unified the vocational training system and codified the shared responsibility
of the state, the unions, associations and chambers of trade and industry. The system
is very popular in modern Germany: in 2001, two thirds of young people aged under 22 began
an apprenticeship, and 78% of them completed it, meaning that approximately 51% of all
young people under 22 have completed an apprenticeship. One in three companies offered apprenticeships
in 2003; in 2004 the government signed a pledge with industrial unions that all companies
except very small ones must take on apprentices. The vocational education systems in the other
German speaking countries are very similar to the German system and a vocational qualification
from one country is generally also recognized in the other states within this area.
Hong Kong In Hong Kong, vocational education is usually
for post-secondary 6 students. The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education provides
training in nine different vocational fields, namely: Applied Science; Business Administration;
Child Education and Community Services; Construction; Design; Printing, Textiles and Clothing; Hotel,
Service and Tourism Studies; Information Technology; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; and
Mechanical, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering. Hungary
Normally at the end of elementary school students are directed to one of three types of upper
secondary education: one academic track and two vocational tracks. Vocational secondary
schools provide four years of general education and also prepare students for the maturata.
These schools combine general education with some specific subjects, referred to as pre-vocational
education and career orientation. At that point many students enrol in a post-secondary
VET programme often at the same institution, to obtain a vocational qualification, although
they may also seek entry to tertiary education. Vocational training schools initially provide
two years of general education, combined with some pre-vocational education and career orientation,
they then choose an occupation, and then receive two or three years of vocational education
and training focusing on that occupation – such as bricklayer. Students do not obtain
the maturata but a vocational qualification at the end of a successfully completed programme.
Demand for vocational training schools, both from the labour market and among students,
has declined while it has increased for upper secondary schools delivering the maturata.
India Vocational training in India is provided on
a full-time as well as part-time basis. Full-time programs are generally offered through I.T.I.s
Industrial training institutes. The nodal agency for granting the recognition to the
I.T.I.s is NCVT, which is under the Min. of labour, Govt. of India. Part-time programs
are offered through state technical education boards or universities who also offer full-time
courses. Vocational training has been successful in India only in industrial training institutes
and that too in engineering trades. There are many private institutes in India which
offer courses in vocational training and finishing, but most of them have not been recognized
by the Government. India is a pioneer in vocational training in Film & Television, and Information
Technology.AAFT, Audio Production & Recording ILM Academy. Maharashtra State Government
also offers vocational Diplomas in various Trades . Vocational Higher Secondary schools
are under MHRD in India. All the state governments runs vocational schools. In Kerala, 389 vocational
schools are there with 42 different courses. Commerce & Business, Tourism, Agriculture,
Automobile, Air conditioning, Live stock management, Lab Technician, Agriculture are some prominent
courses. The students get reservation and preference in PSC appointments
Japan Japanese vocational schools are known as {{Nihongo|senmon
gakkō}. They are part of Japan’s higher education system. They are two-year schools that many
students study at after finishing high school. Some have a wide range of majors, others only
a few majors. Some examples are computer technology, fashion, and English.
South Korea Vocational high schools offer programmes in
five fields: agriculture, technology/engineering, commerce/business, maritime/fishery, and home
economics. In principle, all students in the first year of high school follow a common
national curriculum, In the second and third years students are offered courses relevant
to their specialisation. In some programmes, students may participate in workplace training
through co-operation between schools and local employers. The government is now piloting
Vocational Meister Schools in which workplace training is an important part of the programme.
Around half of all vocational high schools are private. Private and public schools operate
according to similar rules; for example, they charge the same fees for high school education,
with an exemption for poorer families. The number of students in vocational high
schools has decreased, from about half of students in 1995 down to about one-quarter
today. To make vocational high schools more attractive, in April 2007 the Korean government
changed the name of vocational high schools into professional high schools. With the change
of the name the government also facilitated the entry of vocational high school graduates
to colleges and universities. Most vocational high school students continue
into tertiary education; in 2007 43% transferred to junior colleges and 25% to university.
At tertiary level, vocational education and training is provided in junior colleges and
at polytechnic colleges. Education at junior colleges and in two-year programmes in polytechnic
colleges leads to an Industrial Associate degree. Polytechnics also provide one-year
programmes for craftsmen and master craftsmen and short programmes for employed workers.
The requirements for admission to these institutions are in principle the same as those in the
rest of tertiary sector but candidates with vocational qualifications are given priority
in the admission process. Junior colleges have expanded rapidly in response to demand
and in 2006 enrolled around 27% of all tertiary students.
95% of junior college students are in private institutions. Fees charged by private colleges
are approximately twice those of public institutions. Polytechnic colleges are state-run institutions
under the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour; government funding keeps student fees
much lower than those charged by other tertiary institutions. Around 5% of students are enrolled
in polytechnic colleges. Malaysia
Skills training are no longer depicted as second-class education in Malaysia. There
are numerous vocational education centres here including vocational schools, technic
schools and vocational colleges all of them under the Ministry of Education. Then there
are 33 polytechnics and 86 community colleges under the Ministry of Higher Education; 10
MARA Advanced Skills Colleges, 13 MARA Skills Institutes, 286 GIATMARAs under Majlis Amanah
Rakyat and 15 National Youth Skills Institutes under Ministry of Youth and Sports. The first
vocational institute in Malaysia is the Industrial Training Institute of Kuala Lumpur established
in 1964 under the Manpower Department. Other institutes under the same department including
8 Advanced Technology Training Centres, one Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skill Training,
one Japan-Malaysia Technical Institute and the other 21 ITIs.
Mexico In Mexico, both federal and state governments
are responsible for the administration of vocational education. Federal schools are
funded by the federal budget, in addition to their own funding sources. The state governments
are responsible for the management of decentralised institutions, such as the State Centres for
Scientific and Technological Studies and Institutes of Training for Work. These institutions are
funded 50% from the federal budget and 50% from the state budget. The state governments
also manage and fund “decentralised institutions of the federation”, such as CONALEP schools.
Compulsory education finishes at the age of 15 and about half of those aged 15-to-19 are
enrolled full-time or part-time in education. All programmes at upper secondary level require
the payment of a tuition fee. The upper secondary vocational education system
in Mexico includes over a dozen subsystems which differ from each other to varying degrees
in content, administration, and target group. The large number of school types and corresponding
administrative units within the Ministry of Public Education makes the institutional landscape
of vocational education and training complex by international standards.
Vocational education and training provided under the Upper Secondary Education Under
secretariat includes three main types of programme: “Training for work” courses at ISCED 2 level
are short training programmes, taking typically 3 to 6 months to complete. The curriculum
includes 50% theory and 50% practice. After completing the programme, students may enter
the labour market. This programme does not provide direct access to tertiary education.
Those who complete lower secondary education may choose between two broad options of vocational
upper secondary education at ISCED 3 level. Both programmes normally take three years
to complete and offer a vocational degree as well as the baccalaureate, which is required
for entry into tertiary education. The title “technical professional – baccalaureate”
is offered by various subsystems though one subsystem includes two thirds of the students.
The programme involves 35% general subjects and 65% vocational subjects. Students are
required to complete 360 hours of practical training.
The programme awarding the “technological baccalaureate” and the title “professional
technician” is offered by various subsystems. It includes more general and less vocational
education: 60% general subjects and 40% vocational subjects.
The Netherlands Nearly all of those leaving lower secondary
school enter upper secondary education, and around 50% of them follow one of four vocational
programmes; technology, economics, agricultural, personal/social services & health care. These
programmes vary from 1 to 4 years. The programmes can be attended in either of two pathways.
One either involving a minimum of 20% of school time or the other, involving a maximum of
80% schooltime. The remaining time is both cases is apprenticeship/work in a company.
So in effect, students have a choice out of 32 trajectories, leading to over 600 professional
qualifications. BBL-Apprentices usually receive a wage negotiated in collective agreements.
Employers taking on these apprentices receive a subsidy in the form of a tax reduction on
the wages of the apprentice.. Level 4 graduates of senior secondary VET may go directly to
institutes for Higher Profession Education and Training, after which entering university
is a possibility. The social partners participate actively in the development of policy. As
of January 1, 2012 they formed a foundation for Co operation Vocational Education and
Entrepreneurship. Its responsibility is to advise the Minister on the development of
the national vocational education and training system, based on the full consensus of the
constituent members. Special topics are Qualification & Examination, Apprenticeships and Efficiency
of VET. The Centres of Expertices are linked to the four vocational education programmes
provided in senior secondary VET on the content of VET programmes and on trends and future
skill needs. The Local County Vocational Training represents the VET schools in this foundation
and advise on the quality, operations and provision of VET.
Source: Dutch vocational education in a nutshell www.expatica.comeducationDutch-vocational-education-and-training-in-a-nutshell_14318.html
New Zealand New Zealand is served by 39 Industry Training
Organisations. The unique element is that ITOs purchase training as well as set standards
and aggregate industry opinion about skills in the labour market. Industry Training, as
organised by ITOs, has expanded from apprenticeships to a more true lifelong learning situation
with, for example, over 10% of trainees aged 50 or over. Moreover much of the training
is generic. This challenges the prevailing idea of vocational education and the standard
layperson view that it focuses on apprenticeships. One source for information in New Zealand
is the Industry Training Federation.[2]. Another is the Ministry of Education .[3].
Polytechnics, Private Training Establishments, Wananga and others also deliver vocational
training, amongst other areas. Norway
Nearly all those leaving lower secondary school enter upper secondary education, and around
half follow one of 9 vocational programmes. These programmes typically involve two years
in school followed by two years of apprenticeship in a company. The first year provides general
education alongside introductory knowledge of the vocational area. During the second
year, courses become more trade-specific. Apprentices receive a wage negotiated in collective
agreements ranging between 30% and 80% of the wage of a qualified worker; the percentage
increasing over the apprenticeship period. Employers taking on apprentices receive a
subsidy, equivalent to the cost of one year in school. After the two years vocational
school programme some students opt for a third year in the ‘general’ programme as an
alternative to an apprenticeship. Both apprenticeship and a third year of practical training in
school lead to the same vocational qualifications. Upper secondary VET graduates may go directly
to Vocational Technical Colleges, while those who wish to enter university need to take
a supplementary year of education. The social partners participate actively in
the development of policy. The National Council for Vocational Education and Training advises
the Minister on the development of the national vocational education and training system.
The Advisory Councils for Vocational Education and Training are linked to the nine vocational
education programmes provided in upper secondary education and advise on the content of VET
programmes and on trends and future skill needs. The National Curriculum groups assist
in deciding the contents of the vocational training within the specific occupations.
The Local County Vocational Training Committees advise on the quality, provision of VET and
career guidance. Paraguay
In Paraguay, vocational education is known as Bachillerato Técnico and is part of the
secondary education system. These schools combine general education with some specific
subjects, referred to as pre-vocational education and career orientation. After nine years of
Educación Escolar Básica, the student can choose to go to either a Bachillerato Técnico
or a Bachillerato Científico. Both forms of secondary education last three years, and
are usually located in the same campus called Colegio.
After completing secondary education, one can enter to the universities. It is also
possible for a student to choose both Técnico and Científico schooling.
Russia Sweden
Nearly all of those leaving compulsory schooling immediately enter upper secondary schools,
and most complete their upper secondary education in three years. Upper secondary education
is divided into 13 vocationally oriented and 4 academic national programmes. Slightly more
than half of all students follow vocational programmes. All programmes offer broad general
education and basic eligibility to continue studies at the post-secondary level. In addition,
there are local programmes specially designed to meet local needs and ‘individual’ programmes.
A 1992 school reform extended vocational upper secondary programmes by one year, aligning
them with three years of general upper secondary education, increasing their general education
content, and making core subjects compulsory in all programmes. The core subjects include
English, artistic activities, physical education and health, mathematics, natural science,
social studies, Swedish or Swedish as a second language, and religious studies. In addition
to the core subjects, students pursue optional courses, subjects which are specific to each
programme and a special project. Vocational programmes include 15 weeks of
workplace training over the three-year period. Schools are responsible for arranging workplace
training and verifying its quality. Most municipalities have advisory bodies: programme councils and
vocational councils composed of employers’ and employees’ representatives from the
locality. The councils advise schools on matters such as provision of workplace training courses,
equipment purchase and training of supervisors in APU.
Switzerland Nearly two thirds of those entering upper
secondary education enter the vocational education and training system. At this level, vocational
education and training is mainly provided through the ‘dual system’. Students spend
some of their time in a vocational school; some of their time doing an apprenticeship
at a host company; and for most programmes, students attend industry courses at an industry
training centre to develop complementary practical skills relating to the occupation at hand.
Common patterns are for students to spend one- two days per week at the vocational school
and three-four days doing the apprenticeship at the host company; alternatively they alternate
between some weeks attending classes at the vocational school and some weeks attending
industry courses at an industry training centre. A different pattern is to begin the programme
with most of the time devoted to in-school education and gradually diminishing the amount
of in-school education in favour of more in-company training.
Switzerland draws a distinction between vocational education and training programmes at upper-secondary
level, and professional education and training programmes, which take place at tertiary B
level. In 2007, more than half of the population aged 25–64 had a VET or PET qualification
as their highest level of education. In addition, universities of applied sciences offer vocational
education at tertiary A level. Pathways enable people to shift from one part of the education
system to another. Turkey
Students in Turkey may choose vocational high schools after completing the 8-year-long compulsory
primary education. Vocational high school graduates may pursue 2 year-long polytechnics
or may continue with a related tertiary degree. Municipalities in Turkey also offer vocational
training. The metropolitan municipality of Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey,
offers year long free vocational programs in a wide range of topics through ISMEK, an
umbrella organization formed under the municipality. United Kingdom
The first “Trades School” in the UK was Stanley Technical Trades School which was designed,
built and set up by William Stanley. The initial idea was thought of in 1901, and the school
opened in 1907. The system of vocational education in the
UK initially developed independently of the state, with bodies such as the RSA and City
& Guilds setting examinations for technical subjects. The Education Act 1944 made provision
for a Tripartite System of grammar schools, secondary technical schools and secondary
modern schools, but by 1975 only 0.5% of British senior pupils were in technical schools, compared
to two-thirds of the equivalent German age group.
Successive recent British Governments have made attempts to promote and expand vocational
education. In the 1970s, the Business And Technology Education Council was founded to
confer further and higher education awards, particularly to further education colleges
in the United Kingdom. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Conservative Government promoted the Youth
Training Scheme, National Vocational Qualifications and General National Vocational Qualifications.
However, youth training was marginalised as the proportion of young people staying on
in full-time education increased. In 1994, publicly funded Modern Apprenticeships
were introduced to provide “quality training on a work-based route”. Numbers of apprentices
have grown in recent years and the Department for Children, Schools and Families has stated
its intention to make apprenticeships a “mainstream” part of England’s education system.
In the UK some higher technician engineering positions that require 4-5 year apprenticeship
require academic study to HNC / HND or higher City & Guilds level.
United States See also
Agricultural education Apprenticeship
Internship European Centre for the Development of Vocational
Training Community college
Constructivism Dual education system
Employability Environmental education
Family and consumer science Finishing school
Further education Institute of technology
Life skills Renewable energy
Technical and Further Education Training
Retraining Vocational school
Vocational university Widening participation
Washington County Closed-Circuit Educational Television Project
References 14 Prof. Dr. Philipp Gonon, Professor für
Berufsbildung, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Universität Zürich
Further reading Achilles, C. M.; Lintz, M.N.; and Wayson,
W.W. “Observations on Building Public Confidence in Education.” EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND
POLICY ANALYSIS 11 no. 3: 275-284. Banach, Banach, and Cassidy. THE ABC COMPLETE
BOOK OF SCHOOL MARKETING. Ray Township, MI: Author, 1996.
Brodhead, C. W. “Image 2000: A Vision for Vocational Education.” VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
JOURNAL 66, no. 1: 22-25. Buzzell, C.H. “Let Our Image Reflect Our Pride.”
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL 62, no. 8: 10. Kincheloe, Joe L. Toil and Trouble: Good Work,
Smart Workers, and the Integration of Academic and Vocational Education. New York: Peter
Lang Publishing. Kincheloe, Joe L. How Do We Tell the Workers?
The Socio-Economic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education. Boulder, CO: Westview
Press. Lauglo, Jon; Maclean, Rupert “Vocationalisation
of Secondary Education Revisited”. Series: Technical and Vocational Education and Training:
Issues, Concerns and Prospects , Vol. 1. Springer. O’Connor, P.J., and Trussell, S.T. “The Marketing
of Vocational Education.” VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL 62, no. 8: 31-32.
Ries, E. “To ‘V’ or Not to ‘V’: for Many the Word ‘Vocational’ Doesn’t Work.” TECHNIQUES
72, no. 8: 32-36. Ries, A., and Trout, J. THE 22 IMMUTABLE LAWS
OF MARKETING. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993.
Sharpe, D. “Image Control: Teachers and Staff Have the Power to Shape Positive Thinking.”
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL 68, no. 1: 26-27. Shields, C.J. “How to Market Vocational Education.”
CURRICULUM REVIEW: 3-5 Silberman, H.F. “Improving the Status of High
School Vocational Education.” EDUCATIONAL HORIZONS 65, no. 1: 5-9.
Tuttle, F.T. “Let’s Get Serious about Image-Building.” VOCATIONAL EDUCATION JOURNAL 62, no. 8: 11.
“What Do People Think of Us?” TECHNIQUES 72, no. 6: 14-15.
Asian Academy Of Film & Television Reeves, Diane Lindsey CAREER ACADEMY TOOLKIT.
Raleigh, North Carolina: Bright Futures Press, 2006. [4]
External links Profiles of national vocational education
systems compiled from a variety of national and international sources – UNESCO-UNEVOC
International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
Choosing a Career or Vocational School – U.S. Federal Trade Commission
 Babcock, Kendric C.. “Education, Industrial”. Encyclopedia Americana. 
 Babcock, Kendric C.. “Education, Technical”. Encyclopedia Americana. 
Vocational education at DMOZ

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