Betty Joyce Nash has a nice article on the topic.
She discusses Europe’s vocation system and how it keeps unemployment in youth low:
Germany and Switzerland educate roughly 53 percent and 66 percent of students, respectively, in a system that combines apprenticeships with classroom education — the dual system. This approach brings young people into the labor force more quickly and easily. Unemployment for those in Switzerland between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2011 was 7.7 percent; in Germany, 8.5 percent. In the United States that year, the rate was 17.3 percent, down from 18.4 percent the previous year. (A 10 percent higher rate of participation in vocational education in selected Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries led to a 2 percent lower youth unemployment rate in 2011, according to economist Eric Hanushek of Stanford University.)
The dual system produces other economic benefits, according to Stefan C. Wolter of the University of Bern and Paul Ryan of Cambridge University in an article in the Handbook of the Economics of Education. These pluses include the cognitive and motivational effects of combining book learning with work, a closer match between the requirements of the job and lesson content, better school-to-work transitions, and an opportunity for employers to assess potential future employees.
The Swiss and German systems are widely cited as successful bridges to several hundred occupations. At ages 15 to 16, in Switzerland, about two-thirds of every cohort enter apprenticeships, Wolter notes. Apprentices in fields from health care to hairdressing to engineering attend vocational school at least one day a week for general education and theoretical grounding for roughly three years. On other days, they apprentice under the supervision of a seasoned employee.
She goes on to discuss how this system is implemented in Europe.
US has no such system:
In the United States, vocational education has been disparaged by some as a place for students perceived as unwilling or unable. The United States still largely champions college as the route to higher lifetime wages and the flexibility to retool skills in times of economic change. Yet just 58 percent of the 53 percent of college-goers in 2004 who started at four-year institutions finished within six years. Moreover, 25 percent of those who enter two-year community colleges don’t finish. Only about 28 percent of U.S. adults over age 25 actually have a bachelor’s. What about the rest? What’s their path to the workplace? It may be unrealistic to expect everyone to finish college, but most students will need more than a high school education as jobs become more complex, be easily automated and outsourced: technical know-how, interpersonal skills, and adaptability, according to David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Some European companies based in US are trying to implement vocational prog of Europe.
I would think vocational training should be implemented in all economies. Most of education in school/college isn’t applicable practically. Nothing better than learning while working…