A NEW survey has revealed that there is a “worryingly low” understanding of vocational training among young people in Limerick.
And City & Guilds, which published a report on how vocational education is perceived among young people. say a change in attitude is required among Limerick parents, educators and students in order to make vocational education an attractive choice for young people.
As part of the report, 508 young people (aged 15 – 19 years) from around the country were surveyed about their attitude to and understanding of vocational education.
Less than half (46%) of the respondents indicated that they had an understanding of vocational education, while 21% said they were unsure of its meaning. Some respondents (5%) thought it alluded to religious education leading to life as a priest or nun.
“The results of our survey indicate that there is a worryingly low understanding of vocational training among young people in Limerick. Vocational skills – which can encompass areas such as nursing and healthcare; hospitality and trades – are all vital to reboot the Irish economy,” Phillip Sheridan of City & Guilds said.
“It’s our experience that vocational education is viewed by many – including parents, educators and students – as the last option, rather than a career path which can lead to successful enterprise or a well-paid job.
“In Germany or Austria, for examples, it is quite normal for children within the same family to opt for completely different paths.
“In Limerick, vocational education remains a Cinderella in the post leaving cert options list. In our survey, 31% of young people indicated that they would not embark on vocational education because their parents would prefer them to have an academic qualification, or attend university.” added Mr Sheridan.