The general trend towards higher education is not just a fluke, it reflects also the need for more and better qualified workforce in our modern economies. VET as an alternative is in many countries fairly unregulated and thus seems less sustainable compared to HE. And now we learn that even the rather advanced German VET seizes to be a model: Today, only 1 in 5 companies offer places at all, which means that other companies rely on them or public education systems like HE to prepare young people for the labour market. But even more critical is the ability of alternative systems to learn how to deal with diversity. While German HE is famous for selectivity, it seems that the VET system is not much better. Studies show that migrants are not only disadvantaged in the school system (higher drop out rates, lower qualifications), but they are also heavily disadvantaged when it comes to finding an apprenticeship position. So for those who are successful in school, HE seems to be the better bet.
Comment by Erdoğan Kaya, president of the federal migration committee of the labour union Ver.di (German): http://www.migazin.de/2015/03/09/ausbildung-es-geht-um-unsere-zukunft/
Summary of a study by Bertelsmann Stiftung (German): http://www.migazin.de/2015/01/23/studie-migrationshintergrund-erschwert-suche-nach-ausbildungsplatz/