Vocational Schools’ Support
Poland is one of the EU Member States with youth unemployment rate highly exceeding the average. Presently it is 15%. Less than 10% of 16 years old choose to go to vocational schools and only half of them finish these schools. In the same time employers need to employ over 50% of their employees among the vocational schools’ alumni. This results in huge mismatch between the youth finishing schools other than vocational (technical and higher education) and business community incapable of finding its employees.
There are four main reasons for such situation:
- parents and teachers are unaware of labor market changes and therefore cannot advise the youth as to vocational learning;
- teachers are unable to provide support to their students providing tools to professionally develop careers;
- teachers and parents do not know how to motivate the youth and act against absenteeism (this is especially common in disadvantaged areas like smaller towns); and
- there is a lot of prejudice towards vocational schools.
The official education programs notice this important issue resulting in high unemployment rate, however, changing name of vocational schools into business branch schools and putting an emphasis on business engagement in vocational learning is not enough.
It is important to change attitude toward building career approach relevantly on changing labor market and toward vocational learning. Program provides roadmaps for promotion of vocational school and training schedule and stimulates initiation of collaboration through networking.
Workshops take place in September 2016 and April 2017 preceding business venues. They create roadmaps for promotion of vocational school and training schedule.
In September 2016 and April 2017 vocational school principals take part in 2 networking events one in Sopot (European Forum of New Ideas) and one in Warsaw (Lewiatan Confederation Gala) for appr. 800 entrepreneurs each. There they can meet potential business partners and workout frames of good collaboration
Promotion is addressed to vocational schools’ and middle schools’ students, their parents, local, regional and national media. Promoting vocational schools among middle school students takes place before end of recruitment to vocational schools.
With assistance of 6 principals and their substitutes, we will compare recruitment to vocational schools in 2016 and 2017.