Young People Need Informing About Vocational Education
Results day has been and gone for 2021. But many students will still be considering their options when it comes to building the skills and experience they need to enter the world of work. As the skills shortage has become even worse during the pandemic, educating the younger generation about the opportunities within vocational training is even more important.
UK Jobs Market
Of course there is still widespread uncertainty about the long-term impact of the pandemic, but one thing is certain… the jobs market in the UK has been severely affected. When hospitality and retail were finally allowed to open their doors again we all breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, there soon came the struggle of staff leaving in order to find more secure jobs. Many of these impacted sectors have usually employed young people who are just out of school or college. Which means this job market has become particularly competitive post-pandemic.
Brexit Played A Part
The impact of Brexit is also starting to be felt in the jobs market. After leaving the EU we are already seeing the impact of restrictions on the flow of workers in certain industries. Many of the usual crop pickers, for example, have left the UK and returned to their family. Whilst this opens up opportunities for the younger generation, there is a higher demand for homegrown skills in some industries. The sectors that this is affecting include construction, haulage and distribution, and adult care. None of which are particularly attractive career paths for the younger generation.
Giving Young People Options
Going to university still seems to be the main path for many young people. With the high levels of debt incurred, and 26% of graduates not actually ending up in graduate level positions it is hard to see why this is such a popular choice. A study carried out by FE News concluded that 40% of 16-19 year olds are looking to go to university this year, while a mere 7% are planning to pursue vocational education, and 13% are considering an apprenticeship.
All of this information suggests that young people simply aren’t educated in the range of options available to them after finishing their A-Levels. Failing to properly educate the younger generation means they aren’t able to make informed choices about their future. Which in turn, could have serious consequences across the UK jobs market.
During the pandemic we have seen a large increase in the number of adults who have reskilled themselves during lockdown, in order to future-proof their careers. There are still lots of apprenticeships available within growth sectors, but the awareness of these opportunities is lacking. If both students and parents were educated more about options within these sectors, this could really help these industries to get back on their feet again.
The Government are set to invest £600 billion of investment across the rail, highways and energy sectors. This requires a larger number of skilled tradespeople to be trained up. Health & Social care is another industry which is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade as investment will be rising in line with the ageing population. This is likely to cause an increase in over 200,000 jobs; perfectly suited for those with vocational training in this field.
Helping Young People
While many industries are suffering as a result of COVID and Brexit, there are lots of opportunities on the horizon. The Government are investing money into struggling sectors. Young people entering the job market may not have access to ‘safe jobs’ like in previous years. But by improving the education they receive about vocational training, this allows them to make a more informed choice.
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