Vocational Skills Development:

“Vocational education programs have made a real difference in the lives of the countless young people nationwide; they build self-confidence and leadership skills by allowing students to utilize their unique gifts and talents.” Conrad Burns

Vocational skills development can make an important contribution towards reducing poverty.  It seeks to equip everyone with the practical skills and qualifications needed to compete in today’s world of work.  In particular, these vocational skills should be availed the poor and vulnerable, such as young people, women and the rural population.  Vocational skills training should be available to as many people as possible and this requires a mix of both public and private training providers.

When young people are unable to find work for many years or withdraw completely from the labour market, this not only has dramatic consequences in terms of economic development, it also poses a threat to social cohesion.

Many young people never finish their schooling.  But even those with a university degree have no guarantee of finding work that will provide them with a living wage.  Courses often have a strong theoretical focus, offering qualifications that fail to correspond to the skills and capabilities sought by the labour market.  As a reaction to these findings, vocational training has been placed high on the international development agenda in recent years.

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