Przejdź do treści

Diversities in vocational education and training

Vocational education has diverse purposes. However, the four purposes that are most central to VET provisions focus on: (1). The preparation for working life including informing individuals about their selection of an occupation; (2). The initial preparation of individuals for working life, including developing the capacities to practice their selected occupations; (3). The ongoing development of individuals throughout their working life as the requirements for performance of work transform over time; and (4). The provisions of educational experiences supporting transitions from one occupation to another as individuals are either elected or forced to change occupations across their work-life. Indeed, is against this diversity that the effectiveness of the purposes, processes, and outcomes of this field of education are most often evaluated on. It is also from such a set of expectations that the distinctive qualities and characteristics of VET stand to be appraised by government and the community and discussed within both public and professional discourses. Hence, the educational concerns in the VET include finding ways of assisting individuals to identify the occupation to which they are suited, initial development of capacities required for that occupation, and then, the refinement of those capacities and their ongoing development throughout working lives and in ways to sustain employability. However, all of these require interpersonal skills development such as communication skills, problem solvingskills, planning, being literate and numerate that are not occupationally specific, yet that are required for effective participation in work and working life, as well as in life outside of work or social life. 

These VET’s diverse purposes are enacted through a diverse set of institutional arrangements, including universities, colleges, and schools but also other actors such as workplaces, training centres, or community education facilities. Further, there are often relations amongst these institutions that make the organisation, provision, and integration of the VET learning experiences demanding for both those providing the experiences and those learning through them. Hence, VET provisions and institutional arrangements supporting them lead to distinct kinds of educational institutions, purposes, forms, and provisions, which do give rise to distinct alignments with other fields of education. For instance, in some states there is clear articulation between programmes within VET and higher education while in other countries, these articulations are either non-existent or difficult to negotiate since there is no single global model that can be universally applicable to VET. Moreover, students who participate in VET sector are more diverse than students in formal education. This is because they comprise learners who are adolescents, young, and middle aged or older adults. Some of these learners are concerned about securing an initial occupation and entering work-life, others about developing further their skills, or shifting from one occupation to another.

Authors of the Report

The project Competences for the Future – Matching the Needs of the Labour Market benefits from a € 106 000 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The aim of the project is to update the education offer through the exchange of opinions and good practices between organizations with experience in the field of vocational education of youth and adults.