Vocational Education Gets Teens into Work - Report
12 May 2014 at 11:36 am
Exposing high school students to vocational education and training (VET) can improve engagement and retention in school, and help them find work, a new report shows.
According to the report, Work Exposure and Work Placement Programs in Schools involving Group Training Organisations, by Group Training Australia (GTA) finds that VET in schools played an important role in giving Year 9 to 12 students a real-life experience of the workplace and the opportunity of apprenticeships or traineeships after leaving school.
“Participation in these programs is motivating for students, particularly those at risk of dropping out, and the exposure to the workplace helps to put into context the value of subjects such as English and maths and why they are important,” GTA Chief Executive Officer Jim Barron said.
“For many students, it’s their first glimpse into the world of work, and it helps open their minds to the possibilities and to start to think about what’s needed to pursue their goals.”
The report examines the delivery of VETiS programs by group training organisations (GTOs) around Australia and looks at their impact, as well as identifying key elements in successful programs. It includes the views of employers, students and their parents, and a series of 20 case studies.
It found that the structured workplace learning and work exposure involved in the programs provide multiple benefits, including improved engagement and retention in school; an understanding of vocational pathways; development of ‘employability’ skills; and improved numeracy and literacy skills.
The report surveyed parents of students who had taken part in VETiS programs and reported that 85 per cent found them ‘extremely valuable’.
A key theme among parents was that it helped students to gain a clearer understanding of the skills involved in a particular trade, and also in understanding the differences between occupations in a particular trade.
The report also notes wider challenges in the uptake of VETiS programs.
It says a number of schools are only interested in academic pathways and do not give GTOs access to their students at all, or only to a limited number of lower achieving students.
“This perpetuates the view that VET pathways are second best and is unhelpful to employers who need high achieving students to take up trades,” the report says.
To view the full report, click here.