01 SES 13 B, Education and Work – Revisiting the Educational Tensions in the Context of the ‘End of Work’
In recent years there has been a trend to link LLL to economic participation through the employment market and the development of skills and training, whilst apparently also being located within rhetoric of social justice. Definitions and conceptualizations of LLL have been shifting both at the national policy level and at European level and the kind of programmes offered in LLL Centre have been shifting to meet new demands. The neo-liberal discourse about working in a globalised knowledge economy proposes that workers should be active learners, engaged in a cycle of retraining and up skilling so that they can respond to changing economic demands. There remains little recognition that workers (and those not working in the paid economy) are constructed through employment status, gender, social class, age, sexuality, race …. , and also of the need to educate for public engagement and personal and community development. This paper examines the conflicting demands between education for work and education for life looking at the experience of vocational training in HE in the UK, but distinguishing between highly-skilled and low skilled knowledge learners and the broader needs of individuals for knowledge and skills for participation in a democratic society and globalized world.
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