In the traditional way of thinking, Vocational Training Programme (VTP) programmes tended to be downgraded and considered as a default option for “dropouts” from and “failures” of the academically oriented formal educational system. There is the need to bring VTP programmes into “preferred options” available for the youth. This requires proper and effective career guidance programmes, focused on attributes, abilities and aptitudes of the youth, identified at early stages, even before they appear for formal examinations like the University Examination . Proper “branding” and correct “positioning” of VTP programmes are essential to attract and divert youth to acquire employable skills and competencies leading to gainful and productive occupations in the VTP sector. Competent well trained Career Guidance Counselors, supported by a centralized computerized database of all Tertiary and Vocational Training Programme opportunities available throughout the island are required.
The above brief analysis provides a general picture of the status of Career Guidance at present. The basic weaknesses are the compartmentalization of the services, inconsistency in approach, poor communications leading to failure to reach the target audience, lack of knowledge of options even at Counselor level and total unavailability of reliable data on future job demands.