Vocational education or Vocational Education and Training (VET), also called Career and Technical Education (CTE), prepares learners for jobs that are based in manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic and totally related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation, hence the term, in which the learner participates. It is sometimes referred to as technical education, as the learner directly develops expertise in a particular group of techniques or technology.
Vocation and Career
Generally, vocation and career are used interchangeably. Vocational education might be classified as teaching procedural knowledge. This may 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 or post-secondary 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 (e.g., at a university) as credit; however, it is rarely considered in its own form to fall under the traditional definition of a higher education.
Up until the end of the twentieth century, vocational education focused on specific trades such as for example, an automobile mechanic or welder, and was therefore associated with the activities of lower social classes. As a consequence, it attracted a level of stigma. Vocational education is related to the age-old apprenticeship system of learning.
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.
- To provide judicious mix of skills relating to a profession and appropriate content of General Education.
- To ensure that the students have adequate knowledge and skills, so that they are work ready at each exit point of the programme.
- To provide flexibility to the students by means of pre-defined entry and multiple exit points.
- To integrate NSQF within the undergraduate level of higher education in order to enhance employability of the graduates and meet industry requirements. Such graduates apart from meeting the needs of local and national industry are also expected to be equipped to become part of the global workforce.
- To provide vertical mobility to students coming out of 10+2 with vocational subjects.