The UK’s initiative to improve vocational education

The programme in the United Kingdom called “Teach Too Programme” gives the pool of high-quality teachers. One of the purposes of it is to improve vocational education. We will learn what vocational education is in the later part of this article. Thus, let us discuss why vocational education is important first.

In 2021, we are living in “VUCA” world, which is the acronym represents Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. We do not know what will happen in the future. It means that we do not know what will be 10 days later or 1 month later. For instance, when we lived in 2019, we did not expect that viruses tremendously changed our life in 2020. In addition, we experienced the strict restrictions in most of countries in March or April 2020. At that time, we did not forecast the fact that we are still facing the difficult time in 2021.

The pandemic is only one example of the concept, “VUCA”. In fact, there are so many issues around us to lead big changes in the future. They are climate change, trade war, aging society, sustainability and so on. In “VUCA” age, our jobs are not stable. This is because our external environment is changing rapidly and drastically, and because Artificial Intelligence and robotics are changing our jobs.

Thus, we have to improve our employability which means the ability to be employed. However, new technologies are replacing some skills from now on. Therefore, we always acquire new skills to be employed, and it is sometimes difficult for us to do so. As a result, vocational education is essential. In fact,governments and companies have the responsibility to keep and to enhance the quality of it. Teach Too Programme is an example of this.

What is Teach Vocational Education?

According to European Commission, Vocational Education is explained in the following way.

By developing skills that are specific to a trade or job role, you can improve your employment prospects, get ahead in your current career… or even turn a hobby into a business.

Some people assume vocational education and training (VET) only covers practical, hands-on subjects like plumbing, construction or childcare. However, this is an old-fashioned view. Of course, these vital subjects are still taught. However, vocational education has expanded and diversified over the last thirty years. In fact, it offers a huge range of choice in subjects related to a wide range of careers.

Modern vocational education allows people to learn highly transferable creative and personal development skills. What’s more, they can learn practical skills and activities specific to a chosen job role. Those who undertake vocational training or apprenticeships can expect to learn a lot about themselves. In addition, they can discover talents they didn’t know they had!

What’s more, vocational education is no longer only available at school. Now, across Europe, there is a vast range of full-time and part-time courses available at higher-education and vocational colleges. Furthermore, there are on-the-job training and apprenticeships. You can even learn online, with a growing number of courses available on the web.

Practice and Theory

For people who want to turn the theory into practice straight away, you can learn while you work, attending training sessions directly in the workplace. Many companies and sectors even have their own dedicated training facilities. For employers, the priority is to ensure that skills supply meets skills demand, so businesses all over the world are investing in the resources to provide high quality vocational training to their current and potential employees.

Perhaps the best people to explain what vocational education is all about are the people who have already taken advantage of VET. People like Hannah Colston, a Trainee Quantity Surveyor at UK construction company Trojan Group, and a Member of the European Apprentices Network.

Speaking at last year’s European Vocational Skills Week in Brussels, Hannah said, “apprenticeships and vocational education are definitely worthwhile career choices. You have the opportunity to study a subject, and work alongside studying that subject, and it can lead to future employment.”

Khaleb Ouared is an Apprentice who took part in an event at Nestlé in Vittel, France, during last year’s European Vocational Skills Week. He said, “I strongly recommend it because when you’re at school, when you study, it’s all about the theory – they teach us things that are only theoretical. When we leave school, we do not necessarily know what we are talking about – we only have theoretical notions – whereas here we practise, and it gives us a real experience. A real experience for your CV.”

What is Teach Too Programme?

According to Association of Colleges, Teach Too Programme is explained in the following way.

Teach Too is an Education and Training Foundation (ETF) development programme aiming to address quality improvement in technical education and training, as well as implementing Teach Too principles and approaches based on the recommendations of the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL) report. The programme aims to drive excellence in technical education and training through collaborative arrangements.

The emphasis is on a two-way street- a genuine collaboration between FE sector providers and employers. Encouraging people from industry to spend some time teaching their work. This will enable both a national core and locally tailored element, giving employers a direct involvement in designing, planning and developing technical programmes.

The United Kingdom