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Shaping the Futures of (Vocational) Education and Work

Commitment of VET and VET Research

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Edited By Gabriele Molzberger and Manfred Wahle

Education and work are moving towards an open, but uncertain future. Research on vocational and continuing education constantly needs to reassure the conditions of educational systems, current concepts of VET and work, educational policies, and its own assumptions in ascertaining theory of VET. In this context, modernisation is a significant paradigm. It refers to new ideological, socio-economic, structural and institutional qualities.
This volume analyses interdependencies and complexities of research, politics and practice of vocational, further and continuing education. With contributions from European VET researchers it assembles critical reflective, empirical, cross-cultural and historical perspectives. The volume discusses the dynamic changes of work and education both in regional and global labour markets. Central issues are transformations of vocational education and work, the impacts of gender, ethnicity, culture and globalization as well as the anticipation of possible futures of vocational education and work.
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Quality Improvement and Transparency in Vocational Education and Training in the Context of Evaluation – A Comparison between Germany and England

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1.  Introduction

The social and particularly economic goal, namely “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010” (European Council 2002, 2) set in the year 2000 by European member states in Lisbon, has led to significant political initiatives. The plan was to develop a European education and employment environment, which is not only characterised by a uniform currency and a free cross boarder distribution of goods, but also by a uniform “currency” that allows comparing human resources within the European labour market. Due to current demographic trends, which expect skills shortages, European competitiveness shall be enhanced through labour and student mobility. This requires qualification certificates that are transparent, transferable and eligible (see European Council 2001, EU Official Journal 2009a, p. 2). For this purpose, it was decided to voluntarily introduce a European interlinked national qualification framework (EQF/NQF) as well as to use the European Credit Transfer System in the vocational and higher education sector (EU Official Journal 2008; EU Offocial Journal 2009b). To support the acceptance and transferability of devices allowing a comparative assessment of qualifications in the European education and employment systems, it is presupposed that the member states have a mutual trust in each other’s qualification approving authorities. For this purpose, the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training (EQARF) was published (in 2009 in a more advanced version) to work ← 177 | 178 → as a transnational reference tool for quality assurance (EU Official Journal 2009a)...

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