Green party wants official title for graduated vocational students

Students (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Nehajgautam ). (Students (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Nehajgautam ))

GroenLinks wants graduated vocational students to also get a title, like their counterparts in higher professional education and university. In higher education graduates get the title fo bachelor or master. GroenLinks wants vocational students to get the title Skilled, Craftsman and Expert, depending on their level of education. If the party has its way, graduated vocational students can put the letters Sk., Crf. and Exp. before their names, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to GroenLinks parliamentarian Zihni Ozdil, the initiator of this plan, the titles must be a token of appreciation. "Appreciation starts with recognition. These titles must ensure that. It is strange that someone who graduates from higher professional education gets a title, and all those talented vocational graduates in the Netherlands do not."

"Two weeks ago I was at the Euroskills competitions in Budapest, where vocational students from all over Europe face off against each other", Ozdil said to the broadcaster. "That really went from hairdressers to electrical engineers and everything in between. The Dutch participants are among the top. And we have to be proud of that. If we introduce these titles, we would be the first in Europe. That is a good example for the rest."

Students who graduate MBO-2 will get the title Skilled. For example, a graduate security guard will see 'Skilled in security' on his diploma. A student that graduates at MBO-3, a butcher for example, will see 'Craftsman butcher' on her diploma. And students who graduate at the highest level, lab technicians for example, will see 'Expert in chemical-physical analysis' on their diplomas. 

The titles can also help make skills and expertise more easily recognizable for employers, Ozdil pointed out. GroenLinks deliberately chose English titles, just like bachelor and master, to help Dutch vocational graduates also find work abroad. "It would be nice if we, as the Netherlands, take the lead in this. Nowhere else in the world do craftsmen get a title that is internationally recognized. We would like the Minister to also propagate this idea abroad", Ozdil said. 

Previously the government decided to no longer call people in vocational education pupils, but students - also to give more appreciation to these students. "Because the Minister shows that she thinks this is important, we hope she will also cooperate in this plan." If not, GroenLinks will introduce a initiative law.