Preston John & Green Andy (2008). Â« The role of vocational education and training in enhancing social inclusion and cohesion Â». In Modernising vocational education and training. Vol. 1. Luxembourg : Office des publications officielles des CommunautĂ©s europĂ©ennes (OPOCE). 121–193
Added by: Feyfant Annie (20 Apr 2009 11:40:06 Europe/Paris)
|Resource type: Book Article
BibTeX citation key: Preston2008
Keywords: enseignement professionnel, Europe
Creators: Green, Preston
Publisher: Office des publications officielles des CommunautĂ©s europĂ©ennes (OPOCE) (Luxembourg)
Collection: Modernising vocational education and training
Views index: 18%
Popularity index: 4.5%
|URLs http://www.cedefop ... op/529/3050_en.pdf|
"Social inclusion and social cohesion are two dominant themes in vocational education and training (VET). They are important policy objectives of the Lisbon goals. In this contribution we explore the relationship between cohesion, exclusion and VET with particular reference to exploratory new research using the European and world values survey.
Separate traditions of social inclusion and cohesion have in the past (and more recently) been part of discussions of the concept of vocational socialisation which presents one important way in which VET can jointly contribute towards inclusion and cohesion within societies. In our introduction we chart the historical and contemporary ways in which societies have attempted to reconcile cohesion and inclusion through various forms of VET and socialisation. There appears to be a movement away from socialisation towards competence approaches to VET which may emphasise narrow forms of inclusion, through employability. In short, VET has many potential benefits for societies beyond narrow labour-market functions â€“ although these remain important. Whether these benefits are enacted or not depends on the place of VET for social inclusion within a national welfare system.
The obverse of social inclusion is social exclusion â€“ a contested concept. Social exclusion is a multi-dimensional variable which has different meanings across national systems of education. Using exploratory evidence from the latest sweeps (2000-02) of the European and world values surveys we consider that an outcome-based approach to social exclusion (based on objective lived experiences) is superior to a taxonomic categorisation (based on household composition or other descriptive variables). Taking an outcome-based approach to social exclusion we examine the dynamics of exclusion in five countries (Norway, Poland, Portugal, England and the US) showing that VET can sometimes (but not universally) protect against certain forms of exclusion. However, this evidence needs to be supported by further work using other surveys. In particular, longitudinal and labour force surveys would be useful. Our quantitative analysis is supported through policy analysis which critically examines the ability of VET to meet the needs of the socially excluded. In this analysis, we also consider the experiences of immigrants and the disabled in VET who we find are particularly marginalised from mainstream VET provision. Our conclusions are that targeting VET towards specific client groups is not necessarily the optimal policy choice. First, various groups possess characteristics of social exclusion which might not be reached by targeted VET. Second, targeted VET may reinforce social exclusion if it is independent of non-targeted VET action.
We then consider social cohesion, differentiating this from inclusion, and arguing that cohesion is compatible with, and indeed conducive to economic growth under certain circumstances. In particular, VET can contribute towards value formation, institutional integrity and (arguably) the reduction of inequality. Using a unique time-series analysis for European countries during 1965-90 we consider that educational equality can contribute towards a protection of civil and political liberties, suggesting that improving educational equality is positive for social cohesion. In this context, educational equality is measured by the edgini, a version of the income inequality gini coefficient based on the distribution of educational qualifications in the general population. We find an association, rather than strong causation, between VET enrolments and educational equality. We argue that VET may have a role to play in terms of the reduction of educational inequalities as well as in value formation.
We conclude by developing a conceptual model of social cohesion regimes which indicates the difficulties of policy borrowing while indicating possibilities for developing progressive systems of VET within national polities. In particular, we stress the need to modernise VET towards addressing issues of social cohesion and exclusion through greater client participation and integrating the socially excluded into mainstream VET rather than necessarily targeting the socially excluded."
Added by: Feyfant Annie