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Vocational Education beyond Skill Formation

VET between Civic, Industrial and Market Tensions


Edited By Fernando Marhuenda-Fluixá

Vocational education and training has played an important role in the struggles between Work and Capital along history and today; there are examples of such tensions worldwide. The first section of this book provides illustrations of different countries from the 18th to the early 20th century. The authors explain and exemplify the education of the workforce and its political engagement, contributing to the formation of the working class. The chapters provide relevant approaches to how young apprentices and adult workers developed a class consciousness through vocational education. The second section illustrates practices of resistance and transformation within policies and practices of vocational education nowadays in Central and Southern Europe and South America, addressing the needs of people with disabilities and dispossessed populations. The final section analyses how theories and policies intertwine resulting in the idiosyncrasy of vocational education practices across the world, through tensions between logics and institutional actors. The book addresses the political dimensions of Vocational Education and problematizes its mere consideration as an instrumental tool in skill formation.

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Students of Vocational Training Centers in Greece and Financial Crisis (Katerina Arkoudi-Vafea)


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Students of Vocational Training Centers in Greece and Financial Crisis

1.  Introduction

In Greece one of the structural elements of Lifelong Learning are the Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) which are mostly private. They were established in the late 1990s during the 3rd Community Support Framework from the European Union and they are supervised and certified by the National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP). Their main projects are co-financed by the European Union and the Greek state and they cater for the acquisition of skills for different groups of people. Some skills that are being taught in VTCs are Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills, Language skills, Hygiene and Safety in the Workplace, Basic Principles of Labor Law, Job Search Techniques, Environmental Studies, and Finance. Nowadays VTCs work mainly with unemployed who, through European Union (EU) programs, are trained in VTCs in order to be more competitive by acquiring new skills and find employment.

At the beginning of their creation, VTCs attracted a target group which is quite different than today. Few people – compared to these days – were unemployed and it was quite easy to get a job even without many skills. But the last few years the reality is quite different: Greece is in deep recession and has a great unemployment rate of 26.5% in February 2014 – about double the average level of unemployment in the euro zone, which was 12.1%...

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