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How can vocational skills training be aligned with vacancies?

Young people in the UK are facing a tough time getting their careers off the ground, due to the persistently precarious national and international economies. One of the leading executives at vocational education organisation, City and Guilds, has claimed that the government is not doing anything to help their situations either, with today’s 16 to 18-year-olds facing particular difficulties.

Kirstie Donnelly, product development director at City and Guilds, spoke out this week at the Learning Technologies conference in London this week. She said that there are certain areas that are crying out for skilled and qualified workers and that there are jobs for people who are able to do them – it is just that so few young people today have been encouraged to equip themselves with the required vocational skills.

Donnelly told the conference that it is a “tragedy" that the jobs and the skills are so misaligned, particularly in light of the high levels of youth unemployment.

“It’s depressing that one in three business owners believe the system is failing and many of our young people are still lacking the soft skills needed to gain employment,” she told the delegates. “Our 16 to18-year-olds are continually alienated from the workplace, which in the twenty-first century is an absolute tragedy.”

She advised that e-learning and digital technology be more readily incorporated into training systems in the further and adult education sector, to appeal to and harness the interest of young people who have grown up during the rapid development of the e-technology sector.

“Technology has grown at such a fast pace over the past 10 years and I think we can all agree now, technology is a huge enabler for change,” she added. “As the vocational landscape changes around us, everyone from teachers, employers and students has a responsibility to the youth unemployment problem.”