Strategies for Strengthening the Technical Workforce: A Review of International Evidence
Curriculum and Instruction
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
Numerous countries suffer from a shortage of technicians and skilled workers, particularly in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), due to a mismatch between the skills and interests of the students graduating from or leaving the current education system and the needs of the labor market. Often, parents and students place a high priority on entering and completing university, and as a consequence, many students pursue academic education in secondary schools in order to gain entrance to university, only to find themselves entering the job market lacking the skills they need for employment and advancement. Further, in some countries, the vocational school system is not well-respected by the public and focuses heavily on preparation of youth for specific jobs in one firm rather than preparing them for careers within an industry as a whole. This literature review aims to synthesize the research evidence about the effectiveness of various strategies used by national governments, non-governmental organizations, technical schools, and industries to strengthen both the quality of the technical workforce, as well as the avenues through which individuals can access career and technical programming.