What is vocational training?

vocational training
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Definition of vocational training

Vocational training is defined as training enabling an individual to acquire the specific knowledge and know-how he needs to practice a profession. It is traditionally associated with learning a trade, based on practice and mastery of technique rather than on theory and conceptual abstraction.

Vocational training can therefore be aimed at a teenager wishing to move towards a well-defined profession. It is a vocational training that takes place within professional high schools or technical high schools or even apprentice training centres. Students alternately receive general education and technological or professional education, relating to the chosen profession.

Vocational training can also be aimed at an adult who wishes to deepen his knowledge, his skills or his professional aptitudes, with the aim of raising his qualification and evolving in his career or reorienting himself towards a new professional activity. This is continuing vocational training which benefits employees or job seekers. Similarly, in the case of the employee, training can be decided on his initiative or on that of the employer.

The 2 types of vocational training

Vocational training can be classified into 2 types: initial vocational training and continuing vocational training.

Initial vocational training

Initial vocational training, which includes, among other things, vocational education, higher education and apprenticeship, concerns young people with school status, university students enrolled in vocational higher education and apprentices.

In the case of vocational education, training takes place in vocational high schools and prepares young people to obtain the vocational aptitude certificate (CAP) or the vocational studies certificate (BEP) or even the vocational baccalaureate ( BAC pro).

Young university students can also benefit from initial professional training, when after obtaining the baccalaureate, they decide to follow short courses with a professional vocation, allowing them to obtain the Higher Technician’s Certificate (BTS) or a technological university diploma ( DUT).

Continuing professional training

Continuing vocational training concerns both employees and job seekers; thus its terms of access vary according to the status of the applicant. Indeed, it can be decided by the employer, when he wishes to maintain skills, or on the initiative of the employee, boosted by the desire to deepen his knowledge or to evolve in his career.

Thus, continuing vocational training, which is a facilitator of professional mobility, is very advantageous for the employee who is financially supported by an approved collecting body.

Difference between continuous training and initial training

It should be noted that the two formations are often referred to as being complementary. In most cases, in-service training can be considered a direct follow-up to initial training. It therefore seems normal that certain differences may appear.

Which professional training for which public?

The initial training takes place in a school. This therefore includes all persons with school status. College students are also affected. In general terms, it will be more children and young adults.

As for continuing education, it concerns people who have finished their initial training and entered the world of work. Thus, it is directed more towards employees, job seekers but also young adults.

Speakers and learning methods

We can qualify the speakers as teachers in both cases. In the basic sense for initial formation and in the formative sense for continuing formation. For the first training, the knowledge learned corresponds to that of the school system up to high school or equivalent diploma then diverges in higher education where one begins to be inculcated with the basics of a profession.

Continuing education works a little differently. The teacher-trainer is responsible for passing on his knowledge or know-how to the learners. In face-to-face, you will have to go to the training center. At a distance, also called e-learning, everything will happen on the internet. Finally, in telepresence, you will be in contact with your trainer through video exchange. The employee therefore normally acquires specific knowledge and can use it directly in his job or with a view to retraining. It is therefore a matter of perfecting an expertise or learning new ones.

Duration of training and schedules

A long-term course is what should be expected from initial training. Indeed, 2 years will be the minimum by following, for example, a BTS. This then extends to 3 years for a bachelor’s degree, 4 or 6 years for certain competitions, 5 for the Master’s and 8 years for the Doctorate. It is always full-time except in the case of work-study training.

Conversely, there are short courses for continuing education. They are then specialized in a specific area and only last a few hours. These take place, with some exceptions, outside working hours. The CIF (Individual Training Leave) can extend the duration of training to one year full-time and even two years part-time.

The price

Free is the price of initial training in general. Of course, some will ask you to pay money. This mainly concerns private schools and those of higher education. We will therefore sometimes find tuition fees or competition fees.

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