Academic and Vocational knowledge : A balancing act

There has been a continuous call out for the skilled and trained workforce in the corporates. But the structure of the modern education system lacks behind in providing full vocational training to their students. The dearth in the workforce is worldwide with Germany facing a serious crisis.

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Crisis for skilled labour

Given the current scenario of the refugee migration in Europe, the lagging number of skilled labours is increasing at an alarming rate that leaves the European corporates and the other higher educational experts with a lot of reasons to concern about.

A greater amount of the corporates or industries’ success depend on the skill and knowledge of its employees. Their trained experience in their field of expertise gives as added benefit to the corporates while developing the strategies and implementing the ideologies.

Alike many other countries, Germany is also facing stern competition in order to cope with the industry standards of hiring skilled labour. The problem apparently appears to be somewhere within the education system of Germany. Though the country’s “Duales System” of combining both the school educational and vocational training has gained world recognition but remains a huge glitch while pursuing higher secondary education, especially with the credit transfer. Moreover, students into higher education earn more benefits and prestige which outrages the fact of encouraging vocational training system.

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The Meeting

Until last year, the Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände or BDA – the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, along with organisation representing industrial foundations supporting higher education, and the heads of higher education institutions organised a meeting to discuss the hurdles in introducing vocational training in the higher education and how to overcome it by allowing greater permeability in the education system.

After a rigorous session of discussion, the expert team suggested few recommendations to bring about an efficient system of education combining both academic and vocational knowledge.

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There is the list of amendments. Have a look at it:

  1. Proper career guidance should be imparted to the students at the secondary education level in order to make them aware of the future career choices – the pros and cons related to them.
  2. Vocational and academic knowledge are the two balancing act of a fulcrum that is essential for a complete educational system to stand apart. While doing so, one cannot be neglected or prioritised more than the other. So what is best suited is to introduce a Dual system of education which would encumber both the academic and practical training to better understand the theory.
  3. The inevitable truth is- both academic and vocational knowledge are the two most important pillars of the education system. One is incomplete without the other. So the expert team call the educational institutions to design their curriculum comprising of a balance between the academic and training experience. This would solve the problem of the growing gap for skilled labours and even set an example for the world to set up an extra ordinary curriculum. Currently, the vocational training institutes, universities and other institutions run around 700 of these courses with more than 40,000 students enrolled.
  4. Presently the students opting for higher education do not have much access to the vocational training and vice-versa. This part of the curriculum needs to be amended. To improve the permeability, uniform legal frameworks need to be created. Provisions for higher education must be allocated to all the graduates holding recognised vocational qualifications.
  5. Apart from that, the expert team even suggested for lifelong learning for students of diverse backgrounds, in order to excel and secure a job in their field. This provision is to encourage learning to people from all ages and groups who are interested in gaining academic or vocational knowledge.
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The verdict

Though academic and in-hand training is two completely different domain, but the fact remains that they are incomplete without each other. There is no accountability with only theoretical knowledge. No matter how will you excel in it. Whereas, only practical skills with no knowledge of its in-depth cannot put you at the forefront of the face to excel. A balance is a must and every country should take a step forward to achieve this balance for the future generation.

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