This book takes an expansive view of vocational education and training. Drawing on case studies across rural and urban Uganda and South Africa, the book offers a new way of seeing this through an exploration of the multiple ways in which people learn to have better livelihoods. EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.
Conventional approaches to vocational education and training (VET) globally are inadequate to meet either present or future needs. They are based on assumptions about VET being inferior to academic education and that only those who cannot get into academic education would pursue vocational learning. They assume that formal vocational learning is the only or main form of vocational learning and that formal VET graduates will transition into formal sector jobs concentrated largely around metals, motors and manufacturing. None of this is true.
In Africa, most people are working and learning in informal settings. Many have a powerful vocational impulse. Even many of the poorest are using digital technologies for their learning. Moreover, a focus on skills to produce more is pushing us further and further beyond the boundaries for the safe operating of this planet.
In response, this book focuses on social skills ecosystems in which a range of actors come together to negotiate skills needs, including in informal and rural settings and in the production of skills for the maintenance and replenishing of the natural resource nexus. This focus highlights the complexity of interactions in local and horizontal relationships between actor-citizens in a place and the often top-down and disabling actions of states trying to do development to subject-recipients.