Great demand for future craftsmen

3rd September 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 September 2007 , BRUSSELS – Many students at technical schools have a job lined up before they ever finish their courses. They are recruited while still doing their apprenticeship. The ‘vocational schools’ provide a future but still have an image problem.

3 September 2007

BRUSSELS – Many students at technical schools have a job lined up before they ever finish their courses. They are recruited while still doing their apprenticeship. The ‘vocational schools’ provide a future but still have an image problem.

Students, who these days enrol for courses in the building trade, car bodywork, woodwork or other ‘technical’ studies, need not be worried. The ones who are motivated are whisked off before they have even got a certificate. Many students don’t even start the seventh year of their vocational studies because they have already been offered a job in their sixth year. Then the choice is easily made, when you can make money at an early age.

Still relatively few young people choose such a study. Of the 1.1 million students who go back to school today, roughly one in six choose a vocational or professional education. Industrial vocational education is lagging behind. The machines are antiquated, pride in one’s work is missing, students are not motivated and the contact with the business sector is poor. But the tide is turning. This appears to be the year in which vocational and professional education makes its comeback. Many technical schools themselves even set out to solve the current crisis.

Minister of Education, Frank Vandenbroucke (SP.A) has provided them with extra means to improve their tool shops. Many of ‘the vocational schools’ are not waiting till the minister comes up with future initiatives, but are working to improve their own image. They themselves approach the primary schools to make the teachers familiar with technical studies, so that they will advise their students to go on to vocational or professional schools. Schools accede less and less to pressure from the business community.

All these activities are meant to convince young people to get their hands dirty. This must lead to a turnabout in the falling numbers of students going for studies such as the building trade or plumbing. In the past ten years the building courses dropped from 2,176 to 1,066 students, while plumbing courses fell from 1,200 to 700. On the other hand, in the field of administrative studies such as office work, which does not offer any kind of future prospects, the number of students has doubled in the past ten years.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news


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