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Rethinking pathways: why a new approach is needed – a report from Australia Leesa Wheelahan Parity, progression & social mobility: critical issues for.

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Presentation on theme: "Rethinking pathways: why a new approach is needed – a report from Australia Leesa Wheelahan Parity, progression & social mobility: critical issues for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rethinking pathways: why a new approach is needed – a report from Australia Leesa Wheelahan Parity, progression & social mobility: critical issues for higher vocational education pathways

2 Background 2 Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market –http://www.ncver.edu.au/wor kinprogress/projects/10454.h tmlhttp://www.ncver.edu.au/wor kinprogress/projects/10454.h tml –How to improve pathways within & between education & work –3 streams, 3 universities –Lot of reports from project published & more coming

3 Educational pathways are shaped by the relationship between qualifications & structure of jobs Nature & structure of pathways will differ between industries Policy implications – a uniform approach to policy isn’t helpful Argument

4 Outline Australian tertiary education Conceptual framework Thinking about pathways What happens 4 types of pathways Dilemma! Unpacking conceptual framework Alternatives – vocational streams & capabilities Where we are going with this work

5 Australia has 2 sectors of tertiary education

6 Conceptual framework Qualifications serve 3 distinct (but connected) roles Qualifications not synonymous with workforce development Qualifications guide transition to work in different ways (screen or signal) Capabilities, vocations, & vocational streams

7 Links between education & work not strong Skills mismatches Pathways shaped by many factors, including structure of occupations Thinking about pathways differently

8 Students change their field of education 8 Source: Nick Fredman

9 Changes within fields of education 9 Source: Nick Fredman

10 Four types of pathways BusinessNursing Pure disciplinesEngineering High Low Links to qualifications within field of education Links to jobs

11 What does it mean to prepare people for work? What should VET be like if it is so weakly linked to work? Fixing the supply side (education) only won’t solve these problems Dilemma!

12 All qualifications serve 3 purposes 1.In the labour market: as a entry or upgrade qualification 2.In the education system: as a transition qualification to higher level qualifications 3.In society: to widen access to tertiary education

13 Signalling device –Occupational labour markets - –Entry & progression specified by the profession/ occupation –Qualifications specify what people can know & do (broadly) –Content & skills clearly mapped Guide transition to work: Signalling or screening device? Screening device –Internal labour markets –Entry fairly open, internal progression through ranks –Qualifications indicator of capability & attributes (broadly) –Content & skill less tightly specified

14 Qualifications not synonymous with workforce development Structures of work condition & help shape educational pathways Not suggesting a ‘tighter’ linear approach Qualifications not identical with specific occupations Workforce development must encompass a broader range of strategies

15 Prepare people for a broader range of occupations Structure work & education on vocational streams Vocational steams: linked occupations with common concepts & practices What are the alternatives? Vocations & vocational streams 15

16 Start with the person Rather than specific workplace requirements, focus is on development of person, attributes & knowledge & skills Starts with the person within vocational stream not workplace tasks & roles Allows coherent continuum of knowledge

17 The interaction between education & work The capabilities approach 17 Occupations Vocational Stream Jobs Individual, social, economic, cultural & environment resources Individuals with capabilities Careers Preparation of individuals for work: Structure of work: families of linked occupations

18 Where we are going with this work Explore how 3 purposes of qualifications mediated by whether they are used as screen or signal Explore implications for curriculum, workplace learning, & skills mismatches Consider type of ‘industry policy’ based on ‘vocational development’ Compare Canada

19 Policy needs to be differentiated Recognise qualifications serve diverse purposes Emphasis will vary depending on whether qualifications used as screening or signalling device Conclusion Capabilities approach – conceptual basis for qualifications that links work & education


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