ERIC Number: EJ1087438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Nothing Changes: Perceptions of Vocational Education in England
Atkins, Liz; Flint, Kevin J.
International Journal of Training Research, v13 n1 p35-48 2015
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.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Vocational Education, Student Attitudes, Adolescent Attitudes, Disadvantaged Youth, Occupational Aspiration, Educational Policy, Working Class, Educational Attitudes, Cultural Capital, Social Attitudes, Qualitative Research, Interviews, Focus Groups, Adolescents, Young Adults, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; South Africa; United Kingdom (England)