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Challenges and Reforms in Vocational Education

Aspects of Inclusion and Exclusion

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Edited By Stefanie Stolz and Philipp Gonon

In this collected edition, globalization and its consequences on vocational education systems are described and, at the same time, combined with the question of whether new phenomena of inclusion but also of exclusion are produced. Inclusion and exclusion are differentiations that predominate in all kinds of (vocational education) systems, regardless of their national background. These terms base on the requirements of the system itself but also on shortages, particularly when supply and demand are dehiscing. Vocational education developed out of the requirement to integrate large parts of society into a broader or more extended education and, consequently, into an economic and social process. Besides the so-called «social question», gender-, status- and generation-specific characteristics and also the participation in higher education are under discussion. Depending on each country – this volume features contributions of Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Denmark, France, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA – this debate generates a different development which is described by the authors in their different research areas. Collectively, a multifaceted overall picture arises which illustrates the importance of inclusion and exclusion.

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IV. School-to-Work Transition

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SVEIN MICHELSEN & HÅKON HØST Apprenticeship, Youth and Labour Market Outcomes – A Diachronic Investigation into the Norwegian Case Introduction The question of youth transitions into the labour market has been extensively debated for the last twenty years in almost every ad- vanced capitalist society. The basic reason has been the same almost everywhere, the long-term tendency towards a declining youth la- bour market (Furlong, 1987). The main catalysts for this tendency have been economic restructuring and the elimination of occupa- tions, jobs and unqualified labour markets that teenagers used to en- ter (Roberts, Clark & Wallace, 1994). But this development cannot be exclusively attributed to labour market considerations. A number of other factors must also be taken into account. This includes the desire to turn childhood and adolescence into a period of personal growth and liberation from the pressures of production as well as the increasing propensity among youth (and their parents) to engage in education. A common policy response has been to widen post compulsory education and training in order to cater for the entire 16–19 year age cohorts and the formation of a vocational training system where a substantial percentage of these youth cohorts have been directed. This has also been the case in Norway. In 1994 an encompassing reform was carried out, reconstructing the apprenticeship system as an integrated part of a comprehensive upper secondary education system. One of the primary aims of the reform was to secure more smooth and swift transitions into the labour...

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