The Apprenticeship Tradition in Further Education

  • Neil Hopkins
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 18)


Using Andy Green and Norman Lucas’s (1999) depiction of Further and Adult Education as encompassing two distinct traditions (The apprenticeship tradition and the self-help tradition), Chap. 4, makes the case of showing how the apprenticeship tradition can provide the necessary perspective and insight to support a reappraisal of vocational education and training in England. By looking back at the historical roots of apprenticeships (such as the example of the medieval guilds), we have seen how induction into a trade or profession was usually involved an appreciation of the social and ethical aspects of the vocation as well as a rigorous training in the practical skills. The work of Alasdair MacIntyre ((1985 [1981]). After virtue. London: Duckworth) and Richard Sennett ((2009). The craftsman. London: Penguin) has been used to illuminate the discussion around vocational education and the concept of practices. Whilst Sennett offers an inspiring yet unsentimental portrayal of the guilds workshop in reality, MacIntyre gives philosophical underpinning to the concept of ‘citizenship-within-practices’ I have been advocating for vocational courses in Further Education and apprenticeship programmes in the workplace. I have linked the idea of ‘citizenship-within-practice’ to Further Education because I believe citizenship education would work most effectively when embedded into particular vocational studies. I have attempted to show how this might work in a variety of vocational programmes (such as Hair, Sport, Construction and Business) because I am not convinced that citizenship education as a separate area of study would be effective on most courses in Further Education (the example of where Key Skills were studied separately from the vocational programmes is a case-in-point of how such arrangements do not work). Not only would the incorporation of citizenship into the actual vocational courses give these courses a wider, more rounded view of the craft, trade or profession that I have been advocated throughout this thesis, but it would also ensure that the elements of citizenship education studied would be practical and relevant for the students. Although MacIntyre’s evocation of stable historical communities is problematic (in terms of contemporary democracies where pluralism is inevitable), his linking of practices to their social and ethical concerns (alongside Sennett’s depiction of the medieval workshop) is an interesting philosophical platform from which to promote the concept of ‘citizenship-within-practices’ as part of vocational education in England.


Vocational Education Citizenship Education Vocational Qualification Vocational Programme Apprenticeship Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Barnett, R. (1994). The limits of competence. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Blake, N., Smeyers, P., Smith, R., & Standish, P. (Eds.). (2003). The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of education. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Confederation of British Industry (CBI). (2009). Reforming skills funding: Developing productive results. Accessed 20 May 2010.
  4. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Department for Children, Schools and Families, and the National Apprenticeship Service. (2009). Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE). Accessed 21 May 2010.
  5. DfE (Department for Education). (2011). Review of vocational education (The Wolf Report). London: DfE.Google Scholar
  6. DfES (Department for Education and Skills). (2003). 21st century skills: Realising our potential. Accessed 13 May 2010.
  7. Dewey, J. (2007 [1916]). Democracy and education. Teddington: Echo Library.Google Scholar
  8. Dolphin, T., & Lanning, T. (Eds.). (2011). Rethinking apprenticeships. London: IPPR.Google Scholar
  9. Gramsci, A. (2000). In D. Forgacs (Ed.), The Antonio Gramsci reader. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Green, A., & Lucas, N. (Eds.). (1999). FE and lifelong learning: Realigning the sector for the twenty-first century. London: Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  11. Greinert, W.-D. (2005). Mass vocational education and training in Europe (Cedefop Panorama series – 118). Luxembourg: Office of Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  12. Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury. (2006). Leitch review of skills. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  13. Higgins, C. (2010). The good life of teaching: An ethics of professional practice. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44(2&3).Google Scholar
  14. Hodgson, A., & Spours, K. (Eds.). (1997). Dearing and beyond: 14–19 qualifications frameworks and systems. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  15. IfL (Institute for Learning). (2009). Code of professional practice. Accessed 23 April 2010.
  16. Keeley-Browne, L. (2007). Training to teach in learning & skills sector. Harlow: Longman.Google Scholar
  17. Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner. Burlington: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  18. Lancaster University. (2001). Compulsory education government policy 1979–1999. Accessed 13 Sept 2010.
  19. Lawrence, D. H. (2011 [1920]). Women in love [electronic book], MobileReference.Google Scholar
  20. LSIS. (2009). For the sake of argument: discussion and debating skills in citizenship. London: LSIS.Google Scholar
  21. LSIS. (2009 [2006]). Getting started with post-16 citizenship (Revised Edition). London: LSIS.Google Scholar
  22. LSIS. (2010a). Hartlepool College citizenship development project. Accessed 27 May 2010.
  23. LSIS. (2010b). The adult literacy core curriculum. Accessed 22 Nov 2010.
  24. MacIntyre, A. (1985 [1981]). After virtue. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  25. National Apprenticeship Service. (2010a). Our responsibilities. Accessed 21 May 2010.
  26. National Archive. (2010). Manpower services commission 1973–1988. Accessed 13 Sept 2010.
  27. Noddings, N. (2002). Educating moral people. New York: Teachers College.Google Scholar
  28. Noddings, N. (2005). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education. New York: Teachers College.Google Scholar
  29. North Hertfordshire College (NHC). (2011). The Big Student Takeover [video]. Accessed 20 April 2011.
  30. Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED). (2009). Professional development for citizenship teachers and leaders. London: OfSTED.Google Scholar
  31. Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2002). Social trends 30: Students in further and higher education: by type of course and gender, 1970/71 – 1997/98. Accessed 26 April 2010.
  32. Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). (2007). The further education teachers’ qualifications (England) regulations. Accessed 23 April 2010.
  33. Orwell, G. (2001 [1937]). The road to Wigan Pier [electronic book]. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  34. Pring, R. (1995). Closing the gap: Liberal education and vocational preparation. London: Hodder & Stoughton.Google Scholar
  35. Randle, K., & Brady, N. (2000). Managerialism and professionalism in “The Cinderella Service”. In L. Hall & K. Marsh (Eds.), Professionalism, policies and values. Greenwich: University of Greenwich.Google Scholar
  36. Richardson, W. (2007). In search of the further education of young people in post-war England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59(3), 385–418.Google Scholar
  37. Sennett, R. (2009). The craftsman. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  38. Simmons, R. (2008). Golden years? Further education colleges under local authority control. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 32(4), 359–371.Google Scholar
  39. Smith, M. K. (2002). Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy. Accessed 20 Nov 2012.
  40. Tarrant, J. (2001). The ethics of post-compulsory education and training in a democracy. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 25(3), 369–378.Google Scholar
  41. Trade Union Congress. (2008). After Leitch: Implementing skills and training policies. Accessed 19 May 2010.
  42. Watkins, S., & Owen, V. (2011). The great apprenticeship racket: Some jobs fall short of skills as firms collect millions. The Mail on Sunday, Sunday 2 Oct 2011. Accessed 29 Jan 2012.
  43. Benn, C., & Fairley, J. (1986). Challenging the MSC on jobs, education and training. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  44. Winch, C. (2006). Georg Kerschensteiner – founding of the dual system in Germany. Oxford Review of Education, 32(3), 381–396.Google Scholar
  45. Winch, C., & Hyland, T. (2007). A guide to vocational education and training. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  46. Jarvis, P., & Griffin, C. (Eds.). (2003b). Adult and continuing education: Volume III – Vocational education. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil Hopkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and SportUniversity of BedfordshireBedfordUK

Personalised recommendations