Businesses have always played a very important role in education. Across the world, we notice more and more companies from various sectors and industries are adding great value to education in multiple different ways.
Companies are now becoming partners to schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and in some cases even governments. The aim is to tackle important issues that emerge in education and at the same time shape and test out their strategies and operations.
By doing so, companies are helping to shape the employees and employers of the future by giving them the right foundations. However, it has been observed that the relationship between the real world of business and education is ambiguous.
Education has now entered the world of business in multiple different forms. Vocational education and training and work-based learning are two of the most common practices that businesses are adopting. The results, over the years, have proven to be able to create a new era for businesses.
The meaning of Work-based learning in business
Over the past two decades, we have noticed a massive change in businesses. The internet has brought new systems, strategies, and innovations that help speed up production, and services. Every business is now turning towards digital transformation.
As a result, we notice a massive change in operations. Digital skills and competencies are no longer just a choice. They are a must-have for all young employees and potential entrepreneurs and business owners. And we notice that the gap between digital skills and young people is slowly but steadily decreasing.
Work-based learning is here to fill the gap straight in the business. Taking into consideration the average age of employees in SMEs and bigger companies in Europe we notice that there is a connection between the lack of digital skills and business employees.
Through the application of work-based learning techniques focusing on enhancing digital skills and competencies, employees now have the opportunity to receive training within their work environment. Older employees are now learning how to use modern, digital systems that make their lives easier and the transition to a modern age faster.
At the same time, younger employees have the opportunity to experience different jobs and positions within the business. Especially for apprentices, this is an excellent technique to enhance their current skills and competencies as well as broaden their horizons and perhaps even choose a different career.
Vocational Education and Training
Much like work-based learning, vocational education, and training (VET) is a technique that focuses on providing and enhancing skills for work. In a nutshell, VET can help people:
- Enter the labor market for the very first time
- Re-enter after a period of absence
- Upgrade their current skills and competencies in their chosen field
- Change their career choice
VET courses are offered in various stages. Institutes, private colleges, and universities are among the different entities that can offer this kind of training to people of all ages. VET courses are using appropriate material to:
- Provide students with quality training
- Implement practices that have been developed in industries
- Provide students with national qualifications and certifications
Many people make the mistake of confusing VET courses with higher education courses. Although the two do have a certain common basis, some key differences make VET courses more “important” in some fields.
The key difference is the focus of the courses. VET focuses on a more practical approach that has direct application in the labor market. Higher education courses usually focus more on the theoretical part of the knowledge for one’s professional career. Although we witness exceptions to this rule ofter, mostly due to the wide range of subjects covered in VET the main difference remains.
Vocational education and training courses cover the following:
- Most basic life skills.
- Basic skills focused on particular occupations
- Semi-professional VET
- Fields with a much more practical focus.
Successful businesses are all about educated employees and employers. To meet the qualifications of the future, you must listen, study, learn and focus all your efforts in taking the next step in enhancing and developing your business, through proper education!