The state of vocational education and training When you ask different actors with an interest in vocational education and training (VET) about its state, it is common, though not universal, to get complaints. Politicians and civil servants will typically bemoan the cost of public investments in VET and compare these unfavourably with the perceived social and economic benefits. Employers tend to complain about the inadequacy of curricula, the unresponsiveness of public providers and the workreadiness of graduates. VET leaders frequently bemoan inadequate
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The transition to more just and sustainable development requires radical change across a wide range of areas and particularly within the nexus between learning and work.
This book takes an expansive view of vocational education and training that goes beyond the narrow focus of much of the current literature and policy debate. Drawing on case studies across rural and urban settings in Uganda and South Africa, the book offers a new way of seeing this issue through an exploration of the multiple ways in which people learn to have better livelihoods. Crucially, it explores learning that takes place informally online, within farmers’ groups, and in public and private educational institutions.
Offering new insights and ways of thinking about this field, the book draws out clear implications for theory, policy and practice in Africa and beyond.
Introduction In Chapter 1 , we highlighted the pressing need for a new approach to vocational education and training (VET) to support wider processes of just socioeconomic and environmental transformation. In embarking on our journey towards discovering a possible new VET imaginary, we take an initial step in this chapter by offering a brief historical overview of skills development in Africa. We start with a short consideration of the powerful and multifaceted colonial legacy that continues to have major influences on current processes of skills formation
Introduction Not enough has been said about the kinds of skills development that are needed if we are to stem the rising tides and impacts of political economies that have been driving what some call ‘fossil capital’ ( Malm, 2016 ). In this book, we are producing an emerging argument that it is necessary to also rethink and reframe vocational education and training (VET) logics and approaches if we are to fully consider the implications of a warming future. This chapter provides the context of why this is such an urgent challenge and some thinking tools for
Introduction In this chapter, we focus particularly on the mediating role of the university, in close connection with vocational institutions and informal community actors, in developing an inclusive approach to vocational education and training (VET) through an expanded social ecosystem for skills model. Here we draw upon lessons learnt from the Alice and Gulu cases on community-based approaches to establishing an expanded skills ecosystem approach to VET in Africa. The main question guiding this chapter relates to the possible mediating role of the
Vocational teachers in complex skills ecosystems At the heart of much of vocational education and training (VET) is an educational process that includes teaching, learning, a curriculum, the learner–teacher relationship and daily decisions taken by vocational teachers in response to contextual factors that affect learning in local settings. This educational process in VET is incredibly complex and often poorly understood. More significantly, VET systems are both criticized and reformed at institutional and curriculum policy levels, but the implications for
the Global Challenges Research Fund, although the latter is appreciated. There was an ambition in the project to support research capacity development, acknowledging that both South African partners were already well resourced in this regard. A writing workshop was delivered by the PI for the junior members of the team, and he was a resource person for a South African early career vocational education and training (VET) researchers’ conference, hosted by the University of the Western Cape, at which the wider cohort of Wits’ doctoral VET researchers were present
In this innovative book, Professor Alan France tells the story of what impact the 2007 global crisis and the great recession that followed has had on our understandings of youth.
Drawing on eight countries as case studies he undertakes an in-depth sociological analysis of historical and contemporary developments in post-sixteen education, training, work, and welfare policy to show how the ecological landscape of youth has been affected. He maps the growing influence of neoliberalism as a political strategy in each of the countries, showing how, after the crisis, it is accelerating the reconfiguration of institutions and practices that are central to the lives of the young.
This book is essential reading for students of youth studies, sociology and policy, seeking a greater understanding of international public and social policy in relation to the youth question.
Governments worldwide assume that national competitiveness can be improved by developing workforce skills. This book critically examines this ‘high skills’ vision at both policy and practice levels. It challenges an oversimplified policy rhetoric that underestimates the complexity of the processes involved in developing a skilled workforce.
The book focuses on key issues relating to the high skills agenda: skills and political economy; different investment strategies for producing skills; qualification systems and learning. A multidisciplinary team of authors from a range of disciplines, including economics, management and education, provides the cross-cutting international and comparative analysis. Editorial comment links their explorations to wider questions of skill formation processes and overarching questions are addressed through in-depth analysis of the roles of higher education, apprenticeship and formal school learning in skill formation.
Transitions to upper secondary education are crucial to understanding social inequalities. In most European countries, it is at this moment when students are separated into different tracks and faced with a ‘real choice’ in relation to their educational trajectory.
Based on a qualitative driven approach with multiple research techniques, including documentary analysis, questionnaires and over 100 interviews with policy makers, teachers and young people in Barcelona and Madrid, this book offers a holistic account of upper secondary educational transitions in urban contexts. Contributors explore the political, institutional and subjective dimensions of these transitions and the multiple mechanisms of inequality that traverse them.
Providing vital insights for policy and practice that are internationally relevant, this book will guarantee greater equity and social justice for young people regarding their educational trajectories and opportunities.