The importance of Vocational Training

By Navid Amarlou
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According to recent economic research it is believed that trade schools may prove more effective in closing United States income gap than four year colleges. Roughly 18.3 million people in 1977 worked in manufacturing. This number in 2017 has fallen to 12.4 million despite the population increase over the same time period.

This is primarily due to the automatization of the workforce, which has decreased the manufacturing workforce, resulting in job loss as companies replace human labor with that of machines. This is supported by the fact that the GDP produced by manufacturing has grown due to the increased efficiency brought on by automation.

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The US and Germany have seen a decrease in manufacturing jobs. Germany is able to credit 22% of its GDP to manufacturing, in comparison to the US which can only credit approximately 12%. This can greatly be accredited to Germany’s education system which focuses more on upper-secondary and vocationally trained labor.

If the US were to allocate resources to vocational training, it would be possible to boost the contribution of manufacturing to the GDP in the US. This could potentially help reduce the amount of unemployed people within the US.

Education is an invaluable asset and regardless of one’s career, it is important that they are able to adapt and learn new skills quickly in order to be a valuable asset to their employer.

Germany has maintained so many jobs in manufacturing through vocational education. Which is teaching new skills that are in high demand such as coding.

Carl-Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, of Oxford University, calculated in 2013 that 47% of existing jobs in America are susceptible to automation. This information projects that there will be a significant decrease in jobs unless people learn the skills necessary in adapting to a shifting economy.

It is important that employees are able adapt, given the circumstance their job is replaced. They will have the skills necessary to be further desirable in the work force.

Germany has implemented a possible route that teaches coding to citizens that decide to pursue vocational training.

Coding is a highly desirable skill in jobs that are increasing in technological influence. In Germany teaching their citizens this skill, they have introduced more desirable workers to companies that intent on hiring new employment.

If the US hopes to increase GDP and maintain stable employment rates, it is important to train workers in new skills that will become invaluable in a changing economy.

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