02 SES 02 A, Reflections on VET: Looking to the Future
The role of education in increasing national economic competitiveness has been a key focus in K-to-12 and post-secondary education in Canada and other OECD countries for over three decades. School reforms in many parts of Canada in the 1990s encouraged closer ties between schools and businesses and the promotion of school choice through quasi-markets in education, both within a context of decreased public funding. In this climate, youth were increasingly asked to invest in their employability.
The goal of developing an enterprise culture, which requires individuals to take responsibility for their own welfare, is currently reinforced by the popular discourse of skills mismatch—a shift from the earlier focus on increasing formal educational attainment to address skills shortage. While the discourse of skills shortage called for public investments in human capital, current public investments are targeted to high demand occupational areas. Today’s youth are asked to view their education, training, and career choices through a labour market lens to increase their chances of securing viable employment.
This presentation looks at the implications of skills mismatch discourse for high school education. I argue that this discourse, perpetuated by Canadian governments and employers, continues to hold educational institutions responsible for economic problems. Further, one solution to skills mismatch is to stream different students into different “career pathways,” a response that is likely to perpetuate social inequality if it does not also address the persistent academic-vocational divide. After documenting the emergence of skills mismatch discourse, I discuss its problematic aspects and propose alternatives.
*(I use the words allotted to method below to discuss outcomes since this is more of a 'thought piece' than report of specific study).
Brown, P. and Lauder, H. (2006). Globalization, knowledge and the myth of the magnet economy. Globalisation, societies and education, 4(1): 25-57. Canadian Education Statistics Council. (2014). Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective 2014. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-604-x/2014001/hl-fs-eng.htm Gleeson, D., and Keep, E. (2004). Voice without accountability: The changing relationship between employers, the state, and education in England. Oxford Review of Education, 30(1): 37–63. Hager, P., & Hyland, T. (2003). Vocational education and training. Education: Book Chapters (Paper 5). Open access provided by University of Bolton Institutional Repository. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.bolton.ac.uk/ed_chapters/5 Livingstone, D.W. (1999). The education-jobs gap: Underemployment or economic democracy. Toronto: Garamond Press. Lloyd, C. and Payne, J. (2002). Developing a political economy of skill. Journal of Education and Work, 15 (4): 365 – 390. Raffe, D., Howieson, C., Spours, K., & M. Young. (1998). The unification of post-compulsory education: Towards a conceptual framework. British Journal of Educational Studies, 46(2): 169–87. Taylor, A. (1998). Employability skills: From corporate “wish list” to government policy. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 30(2): 143-164. Taylor, A. (2016). Vocational education in Canada. Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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