- vocational training
Vocational training is intended to give people the skills and knowledge they need to perform a particular job, and involves practical instruction as well as theory. Most vocational training takes place not in universities but in colleges of further education and in colleges specializing in art, accountancy, etc. Some secondary schools now also offer an introduction to vocational training.NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) are qualifications that can be obtained by people already working in a particular industry. Colleges of further education run courses to provide a theoretical background. NVQs are awarded on the basis of practical work, spoken and written tests, and coursework. There are five levels, from Foundation to Management. Since 1992 many students in schools and colleges have been working for GNVQs (General National Vocational Qualifications), as an alternative to GCSEs and A levels. GNVQs cover similar areas to NVQs and are intended as introductions to a particular field of work and the skills required. Students can choose from over 500 subjects. At the lowest of its three levels, Foundation, a GNVQ is equivalent to a GCSE.In the US there are no national qualifications like GNVQs and NVQs, though some professional organizations decide on their own qualifications and some of these have become widely accepted. Much vocational training is done by private institutions which are sometimes called proprietary schools. Although many of these are good, in general they have a bad reputation. This is partly because there are no controls over who can operate such a school. Some proprietary schools try to get as many students as possible, including some who will probably not be able to complete their training.Most US secondary schools programmes do not provide a choice between an academic and a practical track (= programme of study), but most do give students an opportunity to take some practical or vocational classes. Large school districts may have magnet schools, schools that attract students with certain interests, and some of these may have a larger choice of vocational courses.
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