Key Points:

  • CDE recently commissioned research on the international experience of vocationally-oriented education relevant to South Africa.
  • As the third edition of the Building on What Works in Education series, the paper summarises what needs to be done to strengthen vocationally-oriented education in South Africa.
  • Vocationally-oriented education exposes school leavers to engineering, technological, electrical, building related, agricultural and other occupations, but they need further post-school training before they can enter the labour market.
  • The research indicates that, in the light of South Africa’s critical need for technical and artisan skills and the historical stigmatisation of vocational education, the country needs new policies.
  • These should make vocationally-oriented education (through specialist ‘focus schools’ or through general secondary schools) a much more attractive option within a system of diversified education provision
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Photo credit:  Pete Wright