- 10 Aug 2010
Meeting labour market needs
This chapter looks at how the mix of provision in vocational programmes is determined – how many people are trained in different fields – and, within each field, what mix of specific and general skills should be taught.
Three main factors determine the mix of provision – student preference, employer needs and the limitations of existing capacity. It argues that the right balance between these factors depends on issues like who is paying for the training and the age of the student. It discusses the different potential means of assessing employer needs, and points to the practical difficulties of forecasting future skills needs.
Graduates of vocational programmes need occupation-specific skills alongside generic transferable skills to carry them through their working career, including the ability to adapt to fast-changing workplace requirements. Numeracy and literacy skills are increasingly important in the modern workplace, and vocational systems need to give sufficient weight to them.