Benefits Of Developing Vocational Skills In Young Girls
There are many benefits of developing vocational skills in young girls. Not only will they learn valuable life skills, but they will also build confidence and self-esteem. Vocational skills also teach responsibility, discipline, self-reliance, and perseverance. These skills help them become independent adults who can support themselves.
Vocational skills are those skills that help people earn a living. For example, a person who has developed vocational skills could work in a factory making cars or in a restaurant kitchen, a woodshop, or fixing household appliances.
In many areas, vocational training has been limited to boys and men – having women in these fields is ground-breaking and essential to moving to a more equitable workforce. At Our Little Roses, we include vocational education as part of the curriculum for our girls to complement their learning and expand their potential.
In this blog, we will discuss why developing vocational skills in young girls is important.
What is vocational education?
Vocational education provides people with occupational or work-related awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitude. It prepares people to work as a technician or to take up employment in a skilled craft or trade as a tradesperson or artisan. Vocational Education can also be seen as that type of education given to an individual to prepare them to be gainfully employed or self-employed with the requisite skills.
The UNESCO TVET Glossary definition reads:
“Vocational education and training, abbreviated as VET, sometimes simply called vocational training, is the training in skills and teaching of knowledge related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation in which the student or employee wishes to participate.
Vocational education may be undertaken at an educational institution as part of secondary or tertiary education, or as part of initial training during employment, for example, as an apprentice, or as a combination of formal education and workplace learning. (Source: EU Commission (Eurostat) 2016, Europe)”
The role technical and vocational education and training play in creating better opportunities for young people
Education and training are crucial to achieving a better future for young people, so much so that the UN included this type of education in their 2030 Agenda under their Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
The Education 2030 agenda pays great attention to technical and vocational skills development, specifically in terms of access to affordable, quality technical and vocational education and training; the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship; the elimination of gender disparities; and ensuring access for vulnerable people.
Key Benefits Of Developing Vocational Skills In Young Girls
According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), few studies show the long-term effects of vocational training in Latin America. In fact, most of the research on the subject has been conducted in the United States and Europe, with very little evidence for developing countries.
It’s not surprising that recent IDB research shows that an average of 75% of young Latin Americans who work do so in informal jobs.
In this way, job training for the young population makes it possible to
- Strengthen their ability to work in a team.
- Boost their ability to learn continuously.
- Help them to form their first professional networks.
- Support young people to start their professional life and outline a career plan.
- Contribute to strengthening their entry into formal employment.
Zooming in on the case of Honduras, developing vocational skills in young girls and women can make a huge impact on their life. It is widely known that this population is prone to be more vulnerable to violence, poverty, and negligence, so developing skills that could help create new and better opportunities for themselves is crucial in their lives.
Three key advantages of vocational education for young girls are:
Lower chances of unemployment
Unemployment affects young women more than young men in almost all regions of the world. Acquiring vocational skills can help girls have better chances at landing a job, becoming self-employed, or starting an apprenticeship that can lead to a better job in the future.
Learning and executing these practical skills set their future to be much more positive, opening up opportunities to be employed in secure, stable, and profitable jobs where they can continue developing their skills and potential.
Vocational skills allow girls to create a source of income by allowing them to earn money through their skills and knowledge, reducing their chances of poverty and improving their quality of life. But being able to provide for themselves and their families goes beyond just making a profit; it also means creating security for them.
Poverty and financial instability are widely detrimental to young girls, affecting their physical and mental health in multiple ways and posing a great challenge to their development and wellbeing. Lacking income also makes them prone to early marriage and unions in search of stability, which puts them in a tough position and, in the worst-case scenario, at the risk of experiencing violence and abuse.
Learn valuable soft skills
Soft skills are also key to developing a good professional base and are highly appreciated by companies and recruiters. A recent paper published by UNICEF regarding the importance of developing transferable skills for children in Latin America reads:
Investing in transferable skills development can bring great benefits to individuals, their families, and the countries of the region. It can help to increase social cohesion and achieve greater economic development at the national and regional level; build more egalitarian societies; promote sustainable economic growth and job placement for adolescents; achieve better academic outcomes; and reduce social risks.
By learning vocational skills, girls are also developing soft skills that create opportunities such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, managerial skills, negotiation skills, and networking skills which help these girls increase their chances of getting a job or starting their own small business.
It has even been proven that vocational training contributes to the reduction of teenage pregnancies. In the Caribbean country, these were reduced by up to 20%, in addition to improving cognitive skills and self-esteem.
This is evidenced by the fact that future expectations of having a better life in 20 years, owning a business, or getting the desired job increased significantly.
Vocational vs. University
At OLR, we believe that both paths go hand in hand, working in synergy to give the girls the best chances they can get. By no means are these paths exclusionary to each other, and both are important to girls’ development.
In some cases, starting with a vocational school can later lead to choosing a related university career, and in most cases having vocational skills allows girls to work and earn money for their tuition and needs.
While a university degree holds value in the job market, there is also a soaring demand for people with skills that can be acquired through vocational training. Vocational schools offer a chance to learn highly-demanded skills like cell phone repair, electronics, heating and air conditioning, solar energy installation and repair, and so much more that allows girls to further their education while also providing a way to enter the workforce if they wish to.
In Honduras, there is a shortage of skilled workers in these areas, so these programs are essential.
OLR vocational education and training for girls
In Honduras, there is an alarmingly high percentage of girls that abandon their education because they see no point in learning what is being taught in schools; this is a common case for those going into their teenage years, a problem that vocational education tackles head-on.
To give our girls in Honduras the best possible education and prepare them for the future, at Our Little Roses, we include vocational training as part of our curriculum. From an early age, our girls are encouraged to learn English, woodworking, art, cooking and promote leadership skills through group activities and interactions with visiting groups.
For those who wish to further their vocational training, our education programs include a 1-year Trade School program where girls can hone their skills under the guidance of experienced teachers and mentors, as well as a 2-year Technical School that focuses on more advanced and technical vocational skills that can help our girls stand out when joining the workforce.
We also host a “Christmas in July” campaign to provide resources for our San Pedro Sula home. Schools in Honduras are closed for most of the month during the holiday season, so we use this free time as an opportunity to provide other learning programs that our girls can participate in while also enjoying themselves. Activities include educational visits to historic sites in San Pedro Sula, cultural events like going to the theater, and much more.
Providing all of these activities to our girls opens their eyes to new career choices and broadens their horizons, ultimately enriching their lives.
At Our Little Roses, we consider every aspect of our girls’ development and believe every single one of them has the potential to achieve great things. For that, we work every day to provide them with all the knowledge, tools, and skills they need in a safe and loving environment, where their physical and emotional well-being always comes first.
There are many ways you too, can make a difference in our girls’ lives! If you’d like to be a part of the family of sponsors who so kindly help us keep our work going, feel free to contact us today to learn more about the ways you can help Our Little Roses♥