Global Trends in TVET: A Framework for Social Justice
“The Global Trends in TVET: a framework for social justice” report has been officially launched in Australia on 20 October 2017 at the “The future of public TAFE institutions – new social policy” conference organised in Sydney by the Australian Education Union (AEU). The report was commissioned in 2016 by Education International, the world’s largest Global Union Federation based in Brussels that represents organisations of teachers and other education employees.
The research aims to contribute to the discussion about the role of vocational education in supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 which commits the international community to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
According to the authors, Leesa Wheelahan and Gavin Moodie: “Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can help engender tolerance, reduce racism and increase the development of an inclusive society and acceptance of change. Vocational education’s role is all the more important for individuals, groups and societies who suffer the most economic and social disadvantage and are most vulnerable.”
What is this research about:
- This paper presents a conceptual framework to understand the ways students transition from vocational education to the labour market is affected by different social, economic, labour market and educational systems. This includes explanations as to why vocational education has a relatively low status in many countries, and the way in which the structures of the labour market affect demand for vocational education graduates.
- It shows the unequal access to vocational education in high, medium and low income countries.
- It demonstrates the negative impact of human capital policies that seek to marketise vocational education based on narrow instrumental models of curriculum that do not support broader development of individuals, communities and nations.
- It argues for a social justice framework for vocational education based on the capabilities approach as developed by the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and the philosopher Martha Nussbaum.
- It suggests a program of research for Education International to deepen understandings about vocational education in different contexts. The aim of the research would be to support policy development and to strengthen the role that vocational education teachers and publicly funded vocational education
institutions can play in supporting social justice and sustainable social and economic development.