Youth Training

PEMD-94-32R: Published: Sep 6, 1994. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed youth employment in certain high-wage occupations not requiring a college degree, focusing on the: (1) training paths for six occupations; (2) federal government's role in training youth for these occupations; and (3) barriers to training and employment in a given occupation. GAO noted that: (1) there are multiple training paths for each of the six occupations reviewed, but most of them require at least 2 years of education beyond high school; (2) community college training is a significant pathway for five of the occupations; (3) other training pathways include 4-year college programs, technical schools, and employer-provided training; (4) only two of the occupations require licensure or certification, but most of the other occupations have attempted to ensure minimum skill standards and standardize school curricula; (5) student financial aid programs probably play the largest role in youth training for five of the occupations because of the postsecondary education requirements; (6) federal programs do not collect statistics on training support for specific occupations; (7) most federal programs fund few, if any, vocational programs for higher-skill occupations; (8) apprenticeship programs are not directly funded by the government and are declining; and (9) barriers to training in the six occupations include high schools' emphasis on college preparation, middle class parents' antipathy to technical occupations, students' unwillingness to relocate, and the variation in skills sought by employers within an occupation.

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