Lifelong Learning and Vocational Education and Training: Values, Social Capital, and Caring in Work-Based Learning Provision
The two main objectives of lifelong learning policy, theory and practice in Britain – and also to a large extent in Europe and Australasia (Hyland, 1999; Field – Leicester, 2000) – are the development of vocational skills to enhance economic productivity, and the fostering of social inclusion and civic cohesion. Direct links are made between inclusion and economic prosperity in the ‘vision of a society where high skills, high rewards and access to education and training are open to everyone’ (DfES, 2001:6). Although this policy does, to some degree, represent a change from the rampant neo-liberalism of the 1980s and 1990s in Britain, the promotion of economic capital always has pride of place and there is a real danger that the social capital objectives of contemporary vocational education and training (VET) may be neglected in the obsession with economic competitiveness (Hyland, 2002). Since work-based learning (WBL) is now a central element in most current VET policy initiatives in Britain, it is suggested that attention to the systematic management and support of learning on WBL programmes – with due emphasis given to the important social values dimension of vocationalism – can go some way to achieving the crucial social objectives of lifelong learning.
KeywordsSocial Capital Organize Learn Lifelong Learning Learning Society Vocational Learning
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