Nothing Changes: Perceptions of vocational education in a coalition era

Atkins, Liz and Flint, Kevin (2015) Nothing Changes: Perceptions of vocational education in a coalition era. International Journal of Training Research, 13 (1). pp. 35-48. ISSN 1448-0220

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14480220.2015.1051344

Abstract

This paper explores young people's perceptions of vocational education and training (VET) in England. It draws on interview and focus-group data from a funded project. Parallel studies were carried out in The Netherlands, South Africa and England. This study reports on the English project. It found that serendipity, contingent events and influence of significant others are most influential in choice of vocational programme and that young peoples' understandings of possible career paths vary in sophistication, differentiated by age, programme level and subject area. Perceived attractiveness of VET was closely associated with societal perception of their programmes (which the young people considered to be negative). The paper considers the implications of these findings in the context of recent major policy initiatives in England. It concludes that, while some recent policy initiatives, such as the introduction of University Technical Colleges may be successful in raising the esteem of some forms of elite and specialized VET, broad vocational programmes at lower levels, and short courses associated with 'employability' and 're-engagement', will continue to be held in lower esteem and to confer little educational advantage on those young people, largely drawn from working-class backgrounds, who pursue them.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: vocational education, VET, aspiration, careers, marginalization, social class
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L900 Others in Social studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 08 May 2017 14:20
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/21934

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