" I just think that there should be some votech put back in schools be it autoshop, metalshop or whatever."
+1 They could sure get a running start on their chosen field, along with the basic skills Nick mentioned.
"I don't think every tech has to be a master tech and every master tech doesn't need to be a supertech. What you describe is a supertech."
Again, +1 By definition, not every techician is a master tech, or super tech, and yet they still take home a decent salary. For machinists, it used to be apprentice, journeyman, and master. Even an apprentice made a living wage. I know I did when I was an apprentice tool and die maker at GM back in the late 50's. I wonder if the apprentice level knowledge base could be learned in high school these days, so that a student could come out of high school and immediately be employable at an entry level position? Perhaps not in every industry, but in some.
I also wonder if we don't have a lot to learn from Germany. They put kids on a vocational track early on, somewhere around our equivalent 9th grade if they don't test at a university track level, and they have one of the most highly skilled, competitive work forces in the world, even with European level wages. Until recently, they were the number one export country in the world, mostly high tech products.