Opposed to other forms of higher learning, vocational education places an emphasis on active involvement in the workforce, and is adapted to meet the changing demands of the labour market.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a process of education that readies students for the workforce. This includes levels from trades and crafts, to positions in engineering, accounting, nursing, medicine, architecture, pharmacy, law practice, amongst other professions. Craft-based vocations are generally based on both manual and practical activities, are usually regarded in non-academic fields and are related to a specific trade or occupation. In Ukraine, craft-based vocations are referred to as “technical educations” as the student undergoes training with a particular set of techniques and developments.
Vocational education is often classified as the teaching of procedural knowledge. This is opposed to what is known as declarative knowledge commonly used in fields of science which concentrates on practices of theory and not application.
Vocational education can occur anywhere from the secondary level, post-secondary level, and beyond. In some cases, vocational education can be accredited for higher learning at the university level.
Vocational education within Ukrainian universities is still related to that of apprenticeship training. Within this bracket of schooling, many apprenticeships exist from manual trades to areas of higher knowledge and theory.
As the labour market has been seen to rapidly change and develop, further emphasis has been placed on vocational education programs in recent years. This has been noted through publically funded training organisations and subsidised apprenticeships or traineeship initiatives for businesses.
What used to be thought of as a lower form of education now exists within a multitude of fields and areas of practices. Vocational education has become prominent in fields such as; retail, funeral services and cosmetics, information technology, tourism, as well as many other traditional crafts and cottage industries.