The importance of a technical qualification in a competitive workplace
Can a technical qualification put you in good stead? Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) help learners to develop technical and practical skills to help them improve their livelihood and be competitive in today’s workforce.
Technical qualifications serve many purposes. They can help learners progress for further study or prepare them for employment. Some also offer pathways to careers in hands-on fields that don’t require traditional four-year academic training.
Back in September, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “In order to create a fairer, more prosperous and more productive country, we need to reverse the generational decline in higher technical education.”
He added that he wanted to see universities to “end their preoccupation with three-year bachelors’ degrees and offer far more higher technical qualifications and apprenticeships. These would be more occupation focused and provide a better targeted route for some students, and benefit employers and the economy”.
Countries like Germany are strong advocates of technical education, offering a “dual system” for vocational education and training (Dual VET), which is behind the country’s outstanding performance as an industrial power, reports DW.com.
Exporting its Dual VET programme to other countries is “a way of ensuring qualified employees at production facilities of German companies in partner countries”, said Thorsten Schlich, an official at the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET). “And also, if Germany sells advanced machinery and products abroad, expert technicians are needed to service and repair that machinery.”
An estimated 52% of Germans graduate from Dual VET apprenticeships. In many cases, they’re offered long-term employment at the company where they did their apprenticeship upon graduating.
Learning options for your technical qualification
There are many upskilling options for those interested in obtaining a technical qualification.
Charles Sturt University in Australia, for instance, offers a Master of Adult and Vocational Education programme that equips learners with the knowledge and skills to enhance teaching in students’ technical or vocational areas across a broad range of adult and vocational education institutions, including TAFE, registered training organisations (both government and private), and community and other voluntary organisations.
It can also prepare students to work as a teacher, trainer, lecturer, learning facilitator or vocational education consultant, or work as an HR manager with training and assessment responsibilities. The university notes that the course “particularly suits higher level professional adult educators or senior managers seeking opportunities to maximise the potential of the people in their organisation”.
The University of Pretoria in South Africa offers a PGDip in Education Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
“The programme takes the form of integrated work-based professional learning (addressing the multidimensional practice of education in a TVET context). The focus is on authentic workplace assessment,” notes the university.
This one-year diploma is organised into the following three components: contact sessions, online hybrid learning and a study visit to Germany.
At the end of the day, technical qualifications haven’t lost their lustre as industries depend on people with these specific expertise.