Not long ago, Vocational Teachers were not recognized as specialized professionals in the Manitoba school system.
Despite their longer and more rigorous entry requirements, Vocational Teachers began their teaching careers one classification lower on the salary scale and were paid less than their peers. If they did want to advance within the education system, they were required to complete twice as many credit hours of university coursework to obtain their Class 7 than was required of their teaching colleagues. They did not enjoy the benefits of belonging to a Special Area Group (SAG) and did not have a unified "voice" to advocate for their specialized learning and workplace credentials.
The VTAM Executive continues to work hard to promote the professionalism of its members, the rights of each Vocational Teacher in the province, and the mutual benefits of technical-vocational education for our students and society.
Today, VTAM exists as the only organization to advocate for technical-vocational education professionals and we must not take for granted the numerous benefits that are obtained as a result of VTAM's past, present and future efforts.
Today's students need more than just a traditional academic education to excel in the world of work, yet few anticipate that they will need to enrol into post-secondary institutions to get ahead.
Vocational/Technical education provides every student with the career skills they need while still in high school. Students can learn a trade and acquire the necessary employability & essential skills at the same time as they earn their regular high school diploma. This powerful combination of academic and vocational skills makes Vocational / Technical students extremely marketable, and many are sought by employers because of the specialized preparation they receive before they fully enter the workforce.
Once they become involved, technical-vocational students soon discover the vast and wide array of opportunities that are open to them in any of the vocational fields of their choosing. They begin to realize that technical-vocational education opens numerous doors that will contribute to their personal, professional and financial advancement.
Vocational skills and courses expand students' opportunities for choice while they are still in high school, and they serve as their gateway into the many businesses and industries that they would otherwise miss if they were not enrolled in technical-vocational education.
VTAM continues to advocate for technical-vocational learning opportunities for all Manitoba students through courses delivered by business/industry-trained teaching professionals.