Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) is defined as that aspect of education which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. It is an integral part of total education programme contributing towards the development of good citizens by developing their physical, social, civic, cultural and economic competencies. The aim of vocational education is to prepare young people and adults for useful occupations, particularly for skilled trades and semiprofessional careers. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) Document (1974) stated that technical and vocational education is used as a comprehensive term referring to those aspects of educational process involving in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life. Technical and vocational education is a phase of general education which is a means of preparing for an occupational field or an aspect of continuing education. It offers instruction in a wide range of trades and occupations to enable the receiver fit into the world of work. Vocational and Technical training plays a vital role in the country’s human resource development by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity, and improving the quality of life. The advent of globalization has demanded more specialized labor markets, higher levels of skills, and diversified vocational education. Improving the skills and knowledge of workforce is crucial for achieving and maintaining economic competitiveness, especially in a context of progressing globalization. Globalization is one of the most important factors causing the fall in the demand for unskilled labor and the rise in wage inequalities between unskilled and skilled labor. These changes created new demands for more adaptable, multi-skilled and creative labor. Vocational education is considered to be the most effective instrument of meeting globalization demands. Vocational and technical education does helps in learning skills, such skills are useful in a job environment. They also encourage students to become entreprenuer. All of this together solves the problem of unemployment. There are thousands of jobs that go unfilled because people lack the required skills. Vocational training would help close that gap, it would also allow for people who are under employed to get higher paying jobs. Technical and vocational education helps a nation develop technologically and industrially by producing people competent and capable of developing and utilizing technologies for industrial and economic development. VTE is the need of the hour because the practical learning experience boosts confidence, generates employability, and better professionals. It is important because it lets the individual hone a skill they are good at and something they actually enjoy doing. It not only helps the person be good at their skill but also turns it into a skill that makes money. When one does a job of their liking, they seem to enjoy it and are happier than those who are stuck in jobs they hate. Education increases the number of jobs that people can do. This helps match what employers are looking for and what employees can do. Not everyone can do every job. There are people looking for jobs and employer looking for employees with specific skills. The problem is that they don’t match. Since vocation education is all about developing the skill set, there is no dearth of jobs. Across the globe, the person with a good skill set is more employable and there will be plenty of job opportunities internationally as well. The ones under vocational education are known to be far more responsible and equipped at handling responsibilities than those of regular education. Any school dropout or an adult can train under vocational education so that they can be financially independent. Many of the jobs these days do not require a formal degree. With the help of vocational education, one can be financially independent irrespective of being formally educated or not. With the development of economies worldwide, the labour market became more specialized. The demand for higher levels of skill both in government and business sector started increasing. This lead to the further development of vocational education through publicly funded training organizations and subsidized apprenticeship or traineeship initiatives for businesses. At the post-secondary level vocational education is typically provided by an institute of technology, or by a local community college. Vocational education has also diversified over the 20th century. Demand for Vocational Professionals is required more than ever in various industries such as retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services and cosmetics, as well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries.
Vocational and Technical training prepares an individual for a job and not college. While most colleges will accept vocational education students, they tend to be limited because most colleges lack proper courses. Vocational education is a multifaceted one as it tends to focus around several careers which include auto repair, woodworking, carpentry, blacksmith, cosmetology, and other fields. There are many vocational schools across the country which provide the students to gain valuable hands-on experience. Under vocational education, the students build stronger communities of their own, build close relationships with fellow students, and that allows them to create a tight-knit group of people that hone the same skills. Strongly built networks are a plus when it comes to career development. It can also help to provide professional insight to others. One big advantage of Vocational and Technical training is that students actually enjoy their academics. Regular education is often dreaded as it involves subjects that students aren’t passionate about. The students involve themselves in learning when they are passionate about it. The curiosity involved in something they are interested in is what makes them successful in vocational education and later on in their careers. While college education often provides theoretical or broad knowledge that could be applied to a variety of professions within a certain field, students learn via vocational training the precise skills and knowledge provides direct knowledge and application for a specific field or position. College education often includes courses on a variety of subjects that may not directly relate to a student’s major and that a graduate may not use in their career. Vocational school, on the other hand, skips this type of broad academic study and instead provides direct knowledge and instruction for a specific field or position. Vocational-Technical education is important because individuals who have saleable skills become useful citizens in their communities rather then parasites.
(The author is Former Incahrge Abhedananada Home-Higher Secondary Institution for Inclusive Education, Srinagar, J&K . Views are his own)