Is Vocational Training the Answer to Youth Unemployment?


Recently released figures from the Office for National Statistics denote a continuing increase in UK unemployment. 16-24 year olds, in particular, are one of the worst hit demographic groups as they struggle to break into the job market for the first time. The figures show a depressing story for the country’s youth as unemployment within this age group is reported as high as 20.5% – a startling contrast to the much lower general unemployment figure of 7.5%. Whilst comparative records only began to be collected in 1991, these recent figures show the highest level of youth unemployment ever recorded.

However, not all job sectors have suffered unemployment equally, and one of the least hit job sectors has been the trades such as electricians and plumbers. As a result of this, many young people from all backgrounds are turning to vocational training courses and apprenticeships to help them launch on their exciting new careers. Compared to increasingly expensive university degrees, vocational courses with their emphasis on practical skills and work experience are a cost-effective option that is proving attractive to many.

The benefits of the vocational course to young people has not escaped the eye of the coalition Government who have pledged some £222 million to help encourage and promote growth in this area. Such significant capital investment comes amidst a wider context of Government budget cuts that show just how strongly committed the Government are to encouraging young people to engage in vocational training.

What are Vocational Training schemes?

Vocational training schemes, such as electrician training, are generally skill-based courses with an emphasis on job-related skills and practical knowledge. Providing you with a strong working knowledge of your chosen career path, vocational training courses can be taken in a wide range of job-related areas, including:

· Electrician Training

· Law

· Teaching

· Nursing

Apprenticeships offer training alongside actually working on the job, meaning you gain vital work experience whilst learning simultaneously. This is a fantastic route into the workplace and onto a potentially long and fulfilling new career.

Other vocational schemes are centre-based and teach skills that lead towards specific industry-required qualifications such as electrician qualifications certified by City and Guilds. By training to receive qualifications such as these, young people and the long-term unemployed gain vocational skills that could well set them up with a career for life. Jobs and trades such as electrical work, plumbing and gas fitting, are essential to any world economy and likely to be in demand for as long as people continue to inhabit houses.

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