ERG SES H 03, Teachers' Training and Education
Apprenticeship courses in Portugal are quite different from other European countries, namely the UK and Germany (see Linderholm & Parker, 2000). Although the model was essentially based on the German’ Dual System, its implementation and functioning appears to follow more strongly a school-based model than the above-mentioned contexts. Similarities between these three countries can be found in the combination of on-the-job learning with off-the-job learning and the amount of time in workplace training. Differences, however, can also be found and they rest especially in the contractual relationship, the monetary support, and the access to the programs. Moreover, there seem to be differences in the profile of young adults enrolled in apprenticeships. In Portugal, a relevant number of apprentices have former stories of school disengagement and dropout (Neves & Figueiredo, 2007). This is not an equivalent situation to, for instance, the German context where there is no place in apprenticeships for people “with poor scholastic performance” (Walden & Troltsch, 2011, p. 317). These dissimilarities appear to have influence in the social status of the vocational education and training systems and of the young people who are enrolled in it. In Portugal, although this topic is scarcely researched, “prevails the idea that vocational courses are alternative solutions or second-line alternatives that have the additional advantage of allowing the completion of secondary education” (Torres & Araújo, 2010, p. 1221). In the UK, “apprenticeships, like all vocational education, tend to be very low status, especially compared to more academic routes” (Chadderton & Wischmann, 2014, p. 331). Nonetheless, apprenticeships in Germany “retain a relatively high status and remain a viable alternative to a more academic route to employment” (Chadderton & Wischmann, 2014, p. 332).
The paper is based on a research focused on the apprenticeship courses in Portugal, questioning it as a measure of social justice (Barry, 2005; Bernstein, 1996) to reduce Early School Leaving (ESL) (Araújo, Magalhães, Rocha, & Macedo, 2014) and, simultaneously, of assuring the possibility to access to Higher Education. To discuss this type of vocational path as promoting social justice follows the question launched by Torres and Araújo (2010, p.1221): “if the diversification of measures of educational provision at a vocational level will be a mechanism for promoting social equality or a means to reproduce and intensify social inequalities?”.
The purpose of this paper is to explore, analyse and illustrate the reasons of young apprentices to enroll an apprenticeship, in line with Mills and McGregor (2014), and their perceptions of the social status attributed to them as students in this training modality.
Amado, João (Ed.) (2013). Manual de investigação qualitativa em educação. Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra. Araújo, Helena C., Magalhães, António, Rocha, Cristina, & Macedo, Eunice. (2014). Development and implementation of policies concerning ESL in the partner countries: A comparative analysis (1). Retrieved from: https://www.uantwerp.be/images/uantwerpen/container23160/files/Publication%201%20-%20long%20version%20-%2014%20April%202014.pdf Araújo, Helena C., Rocha, Cristina, Macedo, Eunice, Magalhães, António, & Oliveira, Alexandra. (2013). Formulation of a Common Working Definition of ESL: International Contributions (Project Paper 1). Retrieved from: https://www.uantwerp.be/images/uantwerpen/container23160/files/Project%20Paper%201%20-%20Final.pdf Barry, Brian. (2005). Why social justice matters. Cambridge: Polity. Bernstein, Basil B. (1996). Pedagogy, symbolic control, and identity : theory, research, critique. London ; Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis. Chadderton, Charlotte, & Wischmann, Anke. (2014). Racialised norms in apprenticeship systems in England and Germany. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 66(3), 330-347. doi:10.1080/13636820.2014.917693 Creswell, John W. (2003). Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. Creswell, John W. (2012). Educational research : planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson. Linderholm, Christina, & Parker, Garry. (2000). Quality in Apprenticeship in the European Union. Retrieved from: http://www.ueapme.com/docs/general_pubs/Ueapmec7.pdf Mills, Martin, & McGregor, Glenda. (2014). Re-engaging young people in education : learning from alternative schools. New York: Routledge. Neves, A. Oliveira das, & Figueiredo, António (Coords.). (2007). Estudo de avaliação do Sistema de Aprendizagem - Relatório Final. Lisboa: IESE and Quartenaire Portugal Tonkiss, Fran. (2004). Analysing text and speech: Content and discourse analysis. In Clive Seale (Ed.), Researching society and culture (pp. 367-382). London: Sage. Torres, Leonor Lima, & Araújo, Marcelo. (2010). O sistema de aprendizagem em alternância – alternativa ou mais do mesmo? Paper presented at the X Congresso Luso-Afro-Brasileiro de Ciências Sociais, Braga: Universidade do Minho. Walden, Günter, & Troltsch, Klaus. (2011). Apprenticeship training in Germany – still a future-oriented model for recruiting skilled workers? Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 63(3), 305-322. doi:10.1080/13636820.2011.570454
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