02 SES 06 C, Transitions: What Contributes to Success in VET?
Technical, vocational, education and training (TVET) plays a vital role in a society’s economic growth and social development. TVET is defined as organized educational programs offering sequences of courses directly related to preparing individuals for paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations. Programs include competency-based applied learning which contributes to an individual’s academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning, problem solving skills, and the occupational-specific skills necessary for economic independence as a productive and contributing member of society (McQuay, 2001; Azizi and lasonen, 2006; Azizi and Alikhani, 2013).
Perhaps equally important is the notion that we may be wasting crime prevention resources on unproven strategies, many of them coercive in nature; a more prudent course would be to reallocate resources to non-coercive strategies with known crime/violence prevention effects (e.a. education, jobs, poverty reduction) and fewer ethical concerns (Byrne & Roberts, 2007; Stemen, 2007). It is widely recognized that technical and vocational education and training have had an important role to play in tackling youth unemployment. TVET’s orientation towards the world of work and the acquisition of employability skills means that it is well placed to address issues such as skills mismatch that have impeded smooth school-to-work transitions for many young people (Byrne and Marx, 2011).
Based on the available literature review, it seems that there is a direct correlation between lack of engagement in education or vocational activities and serious criminal offending by young people. This is a feature of both types of offenders, but may be more causally related to adolescent onset offenders (YJB, 2005: 14). For this school is important, not only in equipping a young person with the academic skills to achieve success and happiness. It also teaches pro-social attitudes and skills, helps develop friendships and forms a sense of belonging. All these things contribute to the development of self-esteem. Schools also keep a young person occupied for many hours of the day.
So it is not surprising, that young people who do not attend school have higher rates of anti-social behaviour. It is unclear, however, whether lack of attendance at school causes offending, or whether it is merely a co-exisiting characteristic. What is clear from the studies is that the co-relationship is so strong that all efforts to return a young person to the education system are likely to be beneficial (Luthar, 2006). Interestingly, one study has found that it is the fact of participation in school, rather than levels of school achievement that has a beneficial effect on offending. Merely attending on a regular basis appears to reduce the likelihood of offending.
According to Ashford (2007) the strong correlation between poor educational attainment and school absence, an offending means that close links between youth crime prevention programmes and educational services are vital. Many prevention programmes have developed strong relationships with education which have enabled strong, joined up, and integrated approaches where information, knowledge and resources are shared. It is however, argued that young men and women who leave school without basic literacy, numeracy and IT skills are at risk of getting involved in crime and violence Lochner and Moretti, 2004). Also it has been emphasized the need to provide TVET to young offenders, to ensure that they do not return to crime once they are discharged from prison.
This study however, aims to investigate the perceptions and experiences of both prisoners and ex-about the effectiveness of TVET courses on their personal, social and professional empowerment from one hand and its impact on preventing them to commit crime again when they are out of prison.
Azizi, N. (2013). Reflecting on Challenges Facing the Secondary Education in Relationship to Job Market. Quarterly Journal of Education, 28 (4): 99-128. Azizi, N., and Alikhani, P. (2013). A Consideration on the TVET’s Challenges in Iran: Emerging TVET Priorities for the Knowledge-based Economy. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2013). Azizi, N., & Lasonen, J. (2006). Education, Training and the Economy: Preparing Young People for a Changing Labour Market. Jyvaskyla: Jyvaskyla University Press. Byrne, J. and Marx, G. (2011). Technological Innovations in Crime Prevention and Policing. A Review of the Research on Implementation and Impact. Cahiers Politiestudies Jaargang, 3, (20): 17-40. Groenqvist, H. (2011). Youth Unemployment and Crime: New Lessons Exploring Longitudinal Register Data. Working Paper 7/2011. Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). Lochner, L. J., and Moretti, E.. (2004). The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports. American Economic Review 94(1): 155–89. World Bank (2013). Youth Employment Programs: An Evaluation of World Bank and IFC Support. Washington: World Bank Publication. Luthar, S.S. (2006), "Resilience in development: A synthesis of research across five decades". In D. Cicchetti & D. J. Cohen (eds.), Developmental Psychopathology: Risk, disorder, and adaptation (2nd edition), pp. 739-795. New York: Wiley. Youth Justice Board (2005). Risk and Protective Factors. London: YJB , page 14
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