‘Getting Qualified in Woodwork’: Young people’s reasons for choosing VET programmes in the UK

Atkins, Liz (2014) ‘Getting Qualified in Woodwork’: Young people’s reasons for choosing VET programmes in the UK. In: 23rd National Vocation Education and Training Research Conference, 9-11 July 2014, Melbourne.

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Abstract

This paper reports on a qualitative study carried out in the UK during summer 2010 on behalf of City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD). The study formed part of a wider, international project which aimed to explore young people’s perceptions of vocational education and training (VET), and as such is of significance in the Australian context: it also formed part of the evidence for the influential Wolf Review of Vocational Education which reported to the UK government in 2011. The study 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 courses (which the young
people considered to be negative) suggesting that, in the UK, pre-Coalition policy (before May 2010) has been unsuccessful in addressing issues of parity of esteem, despite considerable policy investment in the VET sector.
The paper explores the implications of these findings for the ‘English model’ of Vocational Education in the context of current Coalition policy. It concludes that whilst some recent policy initiatives, such as the proposed introduction of University Technical Colleges may be successful in raising the esteem of some forms of specialised VET, broad vocational courses at lower levels will continue to be held in lower esteem and to confer little educational advantage on those young people, largely drawn from working class backgrounds and displaying multiple exclusionary characteristics, who pursue them.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: 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 15:45
Last Modified: 12 May 2017 05:07
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/21954

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