Advertisement

Vocational Education and Training Beyond Human Capital: A Capability Approach

  • Jean-Michel BonvinEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The chapter shows how a capability approach to vocational education and training (VET) marks a clear departure from human capital theories. After a brief presentation of the capability approach (CA), it analyzes in greater detail the two notions of “capability for education” and “capability for voice” and what they entail for VET. Specific emphasis is placed on the issues of timing (giving enough time to learn) and voice (taking account of the trainees’ aspirations and viewpoints) and on the necessity to consider VET as having both adaptive and transformative objectives (creating not only efficient workers and rational consumers but also active citizens able to form their own aspirations and to push them within public debates), as well as intrinsic and instrumental value. This also requires going beyond the all too frequent focus on the supply side of VET (equipping trainees for the market) and integrating also the demand side (equipping the market for trainees, i.e., asking firms and employers to take due account of the trainees’ needs and aspirations). The chapter is based on the findings of four successive EU projects: CAPRIGHT (2007–2010), WorkAble (2009–2012), SocIEtY (2013–2015), and the ongoing Re-InVEST (2015–2019).

Keywords

Capabilities Human capital Capability for education Capability for voice Capacity to aspire Educational justice Access to education 

References

  1. Anderson D (2009) Productivism and ecologism: changing dis/courses in TVET. In: Fien J, Maclean R, Park M.-G (eds) Work, learning and sustainable development. Springer, Dordrecht, 35–58Google Scholar
  2. Appadurai A (2004) The capacity to aspire: culture and the terms of recognition. In: Rao V, Walton M (eds) Culture and public action. Standord University Press, Palo Alto, pp 59–84Google Scholar
  3. Appadurai A (2013) The future as cultural fact. Verso, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Atzmuller R, Knecht A (2017) Vocational training in the framework of the Austrian youth guarantee. In: Hans-Uwe Otto et al (eds) Empowering young people in disempowering times. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 115–128Google Scholar
  5. Baillergeau E, Duyvendak JW (2017) The capability to aspire of young people in disadvantaged circumstances. In: Hans-Uwe Otto et al (eds) Empowering young people in disempowering times. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 262–273Google Scholar
  6. Bonvin J-M (2012) Individual working lives and collective action. An introduction to capability for work and capability for voice. Transfer 18(1):9–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonvin J-M, Dahmen S (2017) The Swiss welfare state system: with special reference to education policy. In: Aspalter C (ed) The Routledge international handbook to welfare state systems. Routledge, London, pp 274–290Google Scholar
  8. Bonvin J-M, Farvaque N (2008) Amartya Sen, Une politique de la liberté. Michalon, ParisGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonvin J-M, Vero J, Moachon E (2011) Déchiffrer deux indicateurs européens de flexicurité à l’aune de l’approche par les capacités. Formation et emploi 113:15–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonvin J.-M, Dif-Pradalier M, Rosenstein E (2013) Trajectoires de jeunes bénéficiaires de l’aide sociale en Suisse. Une analyse en termes de capabilités. Agora débats/jeunesses 65(3):61–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borghi V (2017) From knowledge to informational basis: capability, capacity to aspire and research. Critical Sociology, advance online.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920517705437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chiappero-Martinetti E, Sabadash A (2014) Integrating human capital and human capabilities in understanding the value of education. In: Ibrahim S, Meera T (eds) The capability approach, from theory to practice. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp 206–230Google Scholar
  13. Cockerill MP (2014) Beyond education for economic productivity alone. The capabilities approach. Int J Educ Res 66:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dahmen S, Bonvin JM, Beuret B (2017) The dynamics of youth policies in Switzerland: between participation and activation. In: Hans-Uwe Otto et al (eds) Empowering young people in disempowering times. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 144–159Google Scholar
  15. Drèze J, Sen A (2002) India: development and participation. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goffman E (1953) On cooling the mark out: some aspects of adaptation to failure. Psychiatry 15(4):451–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kjeldsen C, Ley T (2015) Capabilites for education, work and voice, a concluding remark. In: Otto H-U et al (eds) Facing trajectories from school to work. Springer, New York/Dordrecht, pp 329–346Google Scholar
  18. McGrath S (2012) Vocational education and training for development, a policy in need of a theory? Int J Educ Dev 32:623–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McQuaid R, Lindsay C (2005) The concept of employability. Urban Stud 42(2):197–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nussbaum M (2010) Not for profit. Why democracy needs the humanities. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  21. Otto H-U et al (eds) (2015) Facing trajectories from school to work, towards a capability-friendly youth policy in Europe. Springer, New York/DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  22. Otto H-U, Egdell V, Bonvin J-M, Atzmuller R (eds) (2017) Empowering young people in disempowering times, fighting inequality through capability-oriented policy. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  23. Powell L (2012) Reimagining the purpose of VET – expanding the capability to aspire in south African further education and training students. Int J Educ Dev 32:643–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rajapakse N (2016) Amartya Sen capability approach and education: enhancing social justice. Revue Lisa XIV n 1, 16p. Available at http://journals.openedition.org/lisa/8913
  25. Robeyns I (2005) The capability approach: a theoretical survey. J Hum Dev 6(1):93–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Robeyns I (2006) Three models of education, rights, capabilities and human capital. Theory Res Educ 4(1):69–84Google Scholar
  27. Rosenstein E, Dif-Pradalier M, Bonvin J-M (2015) Vocational training as an integration opportunity: a Swiss case study on struggling young adults. In: Otto H-U (ed) Facing trajectories from school to work. Springer, New York/Dordrecht, pp 237–248Google Scholar
  28. Sen A (1985) Well-being, agency and freedom. The Journal of Philosophy LXXXII(4):169–221Google Scholar
  29. Sen A (1997) Editorial: Human capital and human capability. World Dev 25(12):1951–1961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sen A (1999) Development as freedom. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  31. Sen A (2009) The idea of justice. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  32. Streeck W (1999) Competitive solidarity: rethinking the European social model. Paper presented at the 11th annual meeting of SASE, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  33. Walker M (2012) A capital or capabilities education narrative in a world of staggering inequalities. Int J Educ Dev 32:384–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Walker M, Unterhalter E (eds) (2007) Amartya Sen’s capability approach and social justice in education. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Demography and SocioeconomicsUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Lesley Powell
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations