What are vocational skills?
They are hard skills that can be learned in less than a few months with basic training, although some training can take a year or two. They do not require formal training, just a great understanding of the requirements of the job at hand. Vocational qualifications are appropriate for people who do not have a college degree but want to pursue a career that will provide a living. Vocational jobs are usually technical and practical and consist mostly of hands-on work.
Where and how are vocational skills used?
Occupational skills are skills that are used in people’s daily lives; they are necessary skills that help people solve a particular problem. Let’s take the profession of a mechanic: his skills are used when faults occur on people’s cars and they need to be fixed. Job skills can initially be a means of survival, but with years of practice, they can become a lifelong career.
Who can acquire this vocational skill?
Any person who wants to learn a vocational skill can do so, you don’t need a college degree to qualify for it. Vocational skills can
be acquired by people of any age, as age and educational background are not barriers.
While several factors determine whether a person is suitable for the job, the following are the qualities to look for when hiring:
- Ability to work well under pressure.
- Strong communication skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Bravery and courage.
- Knowledgeable in the field of choice.
- Efficient and productive.
- Expeditious delivery of services.
When pursuing a career through professional skills, you must choose a skill you love and then work hard to master it. Before you choose a career path, you need to have a clear goal in mind and ask yourself if what you will do will make life easier for others and if you can follow that path for years without losing your zeal for the work.
Examples of vocational skills:
- Auto mechanic: This skill is acquired through practice; a six-month to two-year apprenticeship is required before the occupation is recognized as competent.
- Paramedic: The most important quality of a paramedic is the ability to remain calm under pressure, as their work is critical to saving lives. Extensive knowledge of first aid is required as it can mean the difference between life and death for patients.
- Catering/Chef: A caterer must learn high-quality culinary skills, gain knowledge of how to prepare a variety of meals, and be creative in mixing spices and developing food combinations.
- Other occupations are Plumbers, Electricians, Welders, Carpenters, Firefighters, Tailors, and many more.
A good example is an aspiring tailor who, to gain tailoring skills, finds a dressmaker and works with her for a year before opening his practice.
Vocational skills are the best thing after formal education. That’s why NGOs use them as interventions to help struggling families who need a source of income to meet their needs.
You can help the less privileged by creating opportunities for them to acquire skills that will earn them money and give them a better chance in life.