Why is it important to expand VET? - The OECD’s statement

In order for companies to keep up with the changing demands of the people, they are constantly looking ahead, into the future to tap new markets. In this effort, we often forget to look back and encourage people just starting out. We’re all quite familiar with the vicious circle of:

“I cannot get a job, because I don’t have experience, therefore, I’ll never get a job because I’ll never have experience.”

To tackle this issue, many companies have started implementing their own VET programmes that assist their future workforce adapt invaluable skills, not taught in the primary education system.It turns out, their efforts so far have not been sufficient.“

While slightly over half of 18- to 24-year-olds in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries were in education or training when the international policy forum took its snapshot of the state of global education early last year, that still left huge numbers of young people neither employed nor in formal education or training (NEET).

NEET? We haven’t heard that before.

What is NEET?

“Non in Education, Employment or Training”, the acronym refers to people in either category. The category is usually established between the ages of 16-24, referring to the “potential” of the young workforce. Obviously, just as with unemployment, a healthy balance should be kept.

“In some countries, NEET rates are alarmingly high even among tertiary graduates: over 30% of tertiary graduates in Greece and South Africa are not in work or education, the OECD’s report says.”

We can easily see why this is a problem. If this potential group of young, capable people is not encouraged or sucked up by the workplaces, they’ll be left powerless both in terms of skills and money. One could think that a tertiary degree could be a guarantee to get hold of a good position, but with the rising “incompletion” rates this is hardly the case.

“… despite the benefits of obtaining a tertiary degree, many tertiary students do not complete their programmes of study, with the study finding only 39% of bachelor degree students graduating within the expected timeframe for their programme.”

What can be done about this?

As discussed before, the VET system not only provides new opportunities but creates innovation from within the companies. In order to improve the system, VET shouldn’t be entertained as a “last resort” idea, but rather as a valid alternative to tertiary education. One of the main challenges and issues of modern education is the lack of focus on work-based learning, meaning young people lack skills that are impossible to work without.

“When VET is of poor quality, it can hardly lead to good labour market outcomes and attractive career prospects. This can create a vicious circle, in which VET is viewed as a low-status option, avoided by bright and ambitious young people and their families, and leading to poor labour market outcomes.”

Avoiding this could either be more governmental focus on providing VET programmes for young people, pushing for legislation change, discounted tax systems for participants and incentivizing companies in different ways for including apprenticeships in their practices.

Companies should also be open to implementing new VET programmes and use their lobbying power to provide these opportunities for young people, especially those lacking equal opportunities.

Read more about the issue on the link below: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20221008065429883