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ERIC Number: EJ800190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Testing the Vocational Imperative
Gorard, Stephen
Adults Learning, v18 n10 p16-19 Jun 2007
For nearly a century, a variety of reasons have been proposed for extending and widening adult participation in formal learning episodes. A regular theme has been the purported economic benefits of adult learning that can be estimated for nation states, industries, regional development, organisations and individuals. Countries, industries, regions, organisations and individuals invest in training and development, hoping to recoup their investment in a number of ways, including greater competitiveness in global markets, enhanced productivity, and increased employability. The author challenges the thesis that increased vocational training is needed so that people have the flexibility to meet the demands of an increasingly contingent labour market. The writer cites that it is difficult to determine whether or not the labour market has changed in the way described, and that job-related training does not appear to be increasing over historical time, nor is it associated with those individuals making the most job changes. Many accounts suggest that training is largely absent or of little use in job changes. One problem with the "vocational imperative" for adult learning is that it is officially operationalised in terms of delivery of training rather than individual learning, leading to poorly-thought-out targets for participation and certification. Because learning s a largely personal thing, it is consequently hard to measure. The author expresses concern that some of the most successful learners do not show up in measures of either participation or qualification. (Contains 1 table.)
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom