Stakeholders from the Trade Unions and Business participated in a presentation hosted by the Department of Education on the subject of Vocational Traineeships, a new custom made scheme that capitalises on the significant investment in education infrastructure, both current and projected, by the Government.

The Department of Education says its vision encompasses a clear and progressive pathway for vocational education between the ages of 14 to 19 with in the school environment. At Level 2, when students typically complete their GCSE courses, students with a desire and flair to pursue craft and vocational studies will be able to do so within the comprehensive school environment. At Level 3, the post-16 stage of education, students will be able to continue their vocational studies through a range of traineeships centred around the Gibraltar College. It is envisaged that these will be delivered in partnership with and with support from local business, to ensure that our learners are able to develop the skills required to increase their success of employment in their chosen sector.

These courses will run in parallel to the established academic route, leading to recognised qualifications in each course’s respective field. Subjects covered will include hairdressing, hospitality and catering, automotive, digital technologies as well as the more traditional trades.

The presentation was delivered by Education Advisor Chris Gomila, who explained the background in preparing this scheme, and stressed the amount of work done in preparation for this. Present were representatives Unite the Union, Gibraltar NASUWT, the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses as well as the Department of Education, the Industrial Relation Office and the Gibraltar College who will lead on delivery.

These stakeholders, members of the Vocational Training Working Group, contributed to the discussion by highlighting the needs of industry and focussed attention on the aspirations of those individuals that might want to pursue a craft or vocational profession in lieu of an academic route – valuable input that helps shape the future projection of vocational training in Gibraltar.

Minister for Education John Cortes, added “The Government is committed to offering a pathway for those individuals who want to follow a vocational career, or who want to train in vocational subject in addition to, or in lieu of, the academic. This education programme will equip young people, within school and outside, with the toolset and accreditation that will make them competitive in the job market, in pursuit of their aspirations, and importantly, meeting the needs of our community. This is a major part of the revolution in Education will be welcome by educators, unions and employers alike"