Flexible educational systems in skilled trades allow students to move between and within the three sectors of education, training, and work. Flexibility enables young people to modify their learning route as they go along to fit their interests and skills. Young people find it challenging to switch from one learning track to another in rigid educational systems in skilled trades. Even if they have realized that their initial choice is not the best one for them, they may discover that they are still limited to it. This might encourage them to stop going to school.
For young people struggling in class or who have had to put off their education in the trade jobs and have additional time to complete their degree, the opportunity to take courses part-time or employ an alternate teaching method may be advantageous (e.g., online learning).
Graduation retention is routinely used to close the achievement gap for students with behavioral problems. As a result, more students are dropping out of school early. Compared to non-repeaters, repeaters had more excellent dropout rates, typically worsening performance, and a more pessimistic outlook on education.
Students suspended are more inclined to drop out, act out inappropriately once more, and perform poorly in school. Additionally, there are direct connections between social and trade school program exclusion. Young individuals can advance to higher-level programs and increase their long-term careers thanks to permeability, regardless of their chosen track.
It could be challenging for young students to advance if systems are not permeable, as in the case of vocational education. It might be challenging for people to return to school if they leave before finishing lower or upper secondary school. They might not be eligible for the available courses due to entry criteria, or there might not be enough lower-secondary programs accessible for adults.
Flexible and open systems for education in learning trades are advantageous for all young people. It is crucial for students who want to switch to a new program and for young people seeking a way to re-enter the system. The way a course is offered may also need to be flexible for young people dealing with external learning impediments (such as the need to work to support their families or have caring obligations).
People from underprivileged socio-cultural backgrounds frequently exhibit poor academic achievement and unacceptable behavior. Preventive measures that avert or minimize repetition, suspension, or expulsion can be especially crucial for students from underprivileged families.
More permeable and flexible skilled trade pathways can be accomplished through various means. These comprise breaking down programs into modules or units to allow movement across the system, enabling opportunities for credit transfer or recognition before learning, introducing the chance to attend evening courses or classes part-time, and individualized teaching techniques.
The following tips are per the practitioners and policy-makers involved in delivering and designing such measures.
It should be easy and possible for students to switch to another program. Any curriculum material that students have mastered shouldn’t need to be taught again. Through credit transfer or the acknowledgment of earlier learning, repetition can be avoided in programs in careers in trades that are divided into modules or units.
Learning to certify their skills gradually is made possible by modularization or partial certification. After completing each lesson, a sense of accomplishment may help drive people who lack confidence. It might be alluring to young people who may have had unpleasant past experiences with standalone end-of-year exams. It could also be an excellent choice for young people who have dropped out of school early because it allows them to “plug the gaps” in their skill set instead of redoing the entire course.
Only unusual conditions should warrant the use of grade retention. On a case-by-case basis, evaluating the advantages of repetition and alternative strategies is crucial. The choice to repeat a grade should be made with input from parents and children. Students cannot simply be kept back, either. There must be particular policies in place to support repeaters’ academic and social development if repetition is to have a beneficial effect on students.
Alternatives to educational skilled trades training comprise, for instance:
For young people who encounter external learning hurdles, part-time, distance, or blended learning opportunities which combine traditional face-to-face instruction with online learning can be helpful. For instance, young people who are employed or who have caring obligations may be able to finish their qualifications through evening sessions or online learning.