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ERIC Number: ED524391
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 45
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9219-5536-5
Vocational Training and Social Inclusion. At a Glance
Hargreaves, Jo
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Social inclusion has become a key focus for public policy in Australia, with governments supporting interventions that aim to improve the lives of those who are disengaged or disadvantaged. One of the key areas of concern is raising the educational levels of individuals. Vocational education and training (VET) has long played an important role in the provision of pathways to further learning or employment, as well as providing "second chance" learning opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. VET is seen as one way to facilitate inclusion, as it seeks to provide individuals with skills that are directly applicable to the workplace and to getting a job. Indeed, an important means by which education facilitates social inclusion is through "socialisation" (Nilsson 2010), and some criticise the broad concept of social inclusion for having a paid-employment focus (Buckmaster & Thomas 2009; Preston & Green 2008; Giddens 2007 cited in CEDEFOP 2009). Socialisation can range from gaining confidence, self-respect, life skills and interpersonal skills, to engagement in the community (Considine, Watson & Hall 2005; Wheelahan 2009a; National VET Equity Advisory Council 2009). VET cannot be considered a panacea in combating social exclusion. What matters is that social inclusion as an overarching concept "offers an opportunity to do things differently, based on new insights arising from a more complete picture of the issues that affect education participation and attainment and the nature of the individual student's education experience" (North & Ferrier 2009). This "At a Glance" explores the current picture of disadvantaged learners in VET--those who are or could be at risk of being socially excluded. Starting from the premise that having a job is one of the most direct ways to encourage social inclusion, the key messages from this paper indicate there remain some entrenched problems to overcome in achieving an inclusive Australia, and considers some of the challenges and successful practices. (Contains 3 figures.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia