Mike Rowe: American education system undervalues vocational skills

|  July 17, 2013 |

Mike Rowe vocational trainingA big advocate for improving vocational training here in the U.S., ‘Dirty Jobs’ star Mike Rowe recently delivered a keynote at the Skills USA event in Kansas City.

Before delivering his address at the event, a national competition for high school and college students that puts their vocational skills to the test, Rowe sat down with TV station KMBC to explain why vocational training, a programs like Skills USA that promote it, are so important.

Rowe said the problem is that important “shovel-ready” job skills are largely ignored in the American education system.

“We ignore a whole list of educational opportunities. It’s the fact that there are about 3 million jobs available—right now, as we speak—that big companies are struggling to fill,” Rowe told the station. “So we’ve kind of created a trap for ourselves. A progress trap, really.”

Rowe feels the reason for ignoring these skills is that for a few generations now, the jobs themselves have been devalued in favor of steering the country’s youth toward earning a four-year degree from a college or university.

You can watch KMBC’s full interview with Rowe and one of the students competing in the Skills USA competition over at KMBC.

 

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