International Development Planning Review

Choosing an apprenticeship: skills preferences amongst the youth

International Development Planning Review (2013), 35, (2), 135–153.

Abstract

Young people leaving basic education with no opportunities of continuing on to the next level of education often face a tough choice of what to do next. There are a variety of issues that pose challenges for them, not least being what trajectory to pursue in their quest for skills training for employment. This article examines the precursors to skills choices among young people, using qualitative data from trainees engaging in both informal apprenticeships and formal and vocational training institutions in Ghana. The analysis adopted an inductive approach, using a thematic analytical framework to generate insights and uncover the factors that shape them. The findings show that there is interplay of several factors that influence the skills preferences of young people in vocational education, including the family context, socio-cultural environment and the presence of role models within specific trades. The paper concludes that, in harmonising the frontiers of skills training, it is imperative for policy to provide systematic career guidance and counselling paths for trainees in both formal and informal apprenticeship training institutions, in order to enhance their skills choices.

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Author details

Aryeetey, Ellen

Doh, Daniel

Andoh, Paul