Vocational skills help your child understand the world of work. Kids learn the way business and industry operates and explore using work tools and business processes. Programs for elementary-age children introduce basic concepts, but progress to hands-on training in middle and secondary grades. Encouraging your kids to become involved in vocational skills programs designed specifically for youth helps teach them about jobs, business operations and career planning. School districts have special vocational programs operated with public funds, but nonprofit organizations also offer free instruction to districts and classroom teachers.
Middle and high school technology programs teach kids the use of equipment necessary for high-tech industry employment during vocational courses held on campus. Schools also offer internships that combine on-campus course work with hands-on experience in the workplace. Businesses with sophisticated technology also occasionally train students at the company site. This saves school districts the cost of expensive equipment, and offers the business a training program designed for the firm's employment needs. Children learn using the technology and the company has a pool of potential hires after the students graduate.
Business and Finance Skills
Kids learn business, finance and banking skills through participation in a number of national financial programs. The National Financial Educators Council and Junior Achievement have student programs that teach the basics of banking and money management. NFEC services offer curriculum and adult presenters to classrooms beginning in pre-kindergarten. The group also has specialized programs focused on financial literacy for elementary, middle and high school students. Junior Achievement programs teach children beginning in the elementary grades. The specialized training focuses on the basics of marketing, business operations and banking. Volunteer presenters from local businesses serve as the guides for the scripted curriculum materials in school classes and community youth organizations. Children in elementary school manufacture, market and sell doughnuts, for example, in the JA program. This experience teaches young children rudimentary business theory and gives hands-on practice using the theory.
Work-readiness training gives kids experience sampling different employment duties. JA, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping children learn work skills, introduced the JA Career Success program in 2013. This secondary program includes classroom training and a technology application that teaches kids the importance of technical skills for modern jobs. JA also offers work training for elementary and middle school students throughout the country. JA BizTown asks elementary school students to create a community and select a job. The interactive simulation shows the work skills necessary for employment in different job fields.
School and Business Partnerships
School and business partnerships match secondary schools with at least one local school. Districts operate the programs in some states and match a number of businesses to different academic departments at various schools. Students in English classes, for instance, focus on business communication skills, while those attending classes in the vocational education department learn to operate specialized equipment used by the firm. This partnership helps the student by teaching practical knowledge that transfers to the workplace. It also helps district administrators understand the educational needs of the local community.
- National Financial Educators Council: Financial Literacy Curriculum
- Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement Programs
- Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement Launches New High School Work-Readiness Program to Help Close Workforce Skills Gap
- Edutopia: Why Should We Care About Vocational Education?
- Junior Achievement: JA BizTown
- Anchorage School District: School Business Partnerships
- Richmond Public Schools: What Are the Benefits of a School-Business Partnership?
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