16-year-olds are too young to decide on a career: trade school chiefs

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Trade school programmes should run for five not four years to give their pupils a better chance of success in further education, school groups said on Wednesday.

Currently trade school (vmbo) pupils leave at the age of 16 after four years and are then expected to go to college.

‘The children with the best opportunities, in the pre-university vwo streams, have six years of high school,’ Paul Rosenmoller, chairman of the secondary school council VO-raad told Trouw. ‘Vmbo pupils are 15 or 16 when they have to go to a regional training college.’ That, he said is too young.

‘The more intelligent you are, the later you get to choose what to do next,’ Jan van Nierop of the vmbo school platform said. ‘Our pupils are being asked to decide at 14 or 15 if they want to be a nursery nurse or a car mechanic. An extra year would give them more time to think.’

In 2015, a range of other secondary school organisations urged ministers to expand the vmbo system by one year. They also argued that 16 is too young to make a decision about a future career.

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