23 SES 12 C, Education Policies and Development
Policies encouraging young people to complete 12 years of formal education and assisting them to move from school to further education, training or employment are a key priority for governments globally (Billett et al., 2010). A key priority is students who are non-tertiary-bound and, particularly, those not planning to take up full-time education or training or full-time employment on completion of schooling (Te Riele, 2011).
Throughout the 2000s Australian state governments developed policies for managing young people’s post-school transitions, including strategies to expand the curriculum of schools into vocational education and training (VET) and encouraging stronger links between schools, VET providers (TAFE and other training providers) and industry (Seddon, Billet & Clemans, 2005; Thomas & Hay, 2012). In 2006, the Queensland Government embarked on an industry school partnership (ISP) initiative called the Gateway to Industry Schools Program hereafter referred to as the Gateway initiative. This program is a large scale industry school partnership strategy aimed at partnering high schools with businesses across six key industry sectors in the Queensland economy (minerals and energy, building and construction, wine tourism, aerospace and manufacturing and engineering and agribusiness). The program involves over 100 schools from three different education sectors (state, catholic and independent) located across Queensland.
This paper reports on one aspect of a large scale Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project conducted between 2011-2014 focused on Queensland’s Gateway to Industry Schools Program (Gateway Schools). It specifically focuses on case study research conducted at three school sites within Wine Tourism and one industry training facility, the Queensland College of Wine Tourism, located in a rural wine producing area in south east Queensland. The Gateway initiative in Queensland shares commonalities with Career Academies established in Atlanta, Georgia that aim to provide vocational training for students through an extension of the Charter Schools model (Lakes & Burns, 2012). This program will be referred to for the purposes of international comparison in this paper.
ISPs are examples of policies that attempt to engage parents, businesses and training providers as a community of “stakeholders” (Rose, 2000) exercised through the agency of schools with the aim of mobilising them for managing young people’s transitions (Hay & Kapitzke, 2009a,b). These strategies are complex and their outcomes uncertain as they rely on the capacity of policies to align the interests and activities of individuals and organisations that may have divergent objectives and operating logics (e.g., schools and private enterprises) (Ball & Juneman, 2012; Kapitzke & Hay, 2011).
Yet, despite their centrality to economic growth and social justice objectives and the investment of considerable resources in their implementation little theoretically-informed, empirical research has documented the impact of these and other transition initiatives on schools, community stakeholders or young people themselves (DeLuca, Hutchinson, Versnel, Dods, & Chin, 2012).
Acknowledging this theoretical gap Deluca et al, 2012 have proposed the person-in-context model as a means of explaining transition resilience in young people. This model characterises resilience as the outcome of dynamically interacting facets or elements occurring within and across multiple social levels: including: i) individual, ii) social and cultural, and iii) economic and political. a model to understand the multi-faceted ways in which young people’s transitions are mediated by such policy initiatives. Importantly, DeLuca and colleague’s model rejects hierarchical or linear notions of transitions, instead seeking to show how social levels interact in relation to each other (e.g., the economic-political domain may constrain families’ ability to access key social services).
This paper adopts the person-in-context model to as a framework for presenting the findings of research into a large multisite ISP in Queensland.
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