Latest news on European research in learning and work [L&W] - October 2016


Particularly worth noting in this edition are calls for papers relating to the 3rd International Skills Conference in Miri (Malaysia), MEDKNOW 2017 in Faro (Portugal), the 2nd International Conference on Crossing Boundaries in VET in Rostock (Germany) (see Conferences) and the 24th VET & Culture conference in Tampere (see Networks) and invitations to the Transnational Winter School in Würzburg, the Python course for social scientists in Amsterdam (see Programmes) and the EmployID online course on the Changing World of Work (see Projects).

Many thanks to all who contributed information for this edition and who sent helpful feedback. The L&W Newsletter reaches you via a mailing list of about 1500 experts in and beyond Europe. It focuses on transnational research activities in the field of human resource development (HRD) and vocational education and training (VET), centred on major categories: conferences, networks, programmes, projects and publications. The next edition will appear in early October 2016. You are invited to submit short pieces of news (texts of 100 to 200 words, without attachments, but including links to web pages) - please by 30 November 2016 at the latest!

Should you prefer to read the current edition online, you can find it on the L&W website ( under October 2016. Please pass the Newsletter on to your own colleagues and networks. Special thanks to our partners CR&DALL, PASCAL International Observatory, UFHRD, UNEVOC, VET&Culture and VETNET for sharing the L&W Newsletter via their mailing lists and web portals!

With best wishes
Sabine Manning
Research Forum WIFO
Editor of the L&W Newsletter


Call for papers: Employability, employment, training and skills in the global era
3rd International Skills Conference (3isc) organised by Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia, Miri, Sarawak, 16-17 February 2017
Building on earlier skills conferences held in Perth and Toulouse, the theme for 2017 is Employability, employment, training and skills in the global era.  This conference, on the beautiful island of Borneo, will provide a forum for discussing skills, employment and employability from different disciplinary perspectives (economics and business, employment relations, sociology and politics), using a variety of methodological approaches. We are interested in conceptual and theoretical papers, as well as contributions focussed on policy and practice: international comparative research of an empirical nature is especially welcome. Topics will include (but not be limited to): Work readiness and employability; Human Capital Development Programmes; Mapping and forecasting skills and competence; Skills and organisational performance (including HPWS/HIWP); Skills mismatches: deficits and surpluses; Policy and politics of employment and training; and Skills formation and employment relations. 
See for the Call for Papers and further information.
(Posted by Jonathan Winterton [email protected])

Call for abstracts: MEDKNOW 2017 conference
The International Centre for Studies and Research (ICSR) Mediterranean Knowledge and the Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO) are organizing the 2nd International Conference ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge, to be held May 4-5th, 2017 at the University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal. The major aim of this Conference is to increase awareness about the Mediterranean as a departure and arrival point for the construction of a pluralistic society, starting from a great variety of cultures, societies and ways of life. On the basis of these considerations, the Conference is open to contributions that address the great questions concerning the Mediterranean, the cultures and the societies developed on its shores. Call for abstracts at:
(Posted by Julieta Rosa <[email protected]> on behalf of Teresa de Noronha)

Call for papers: Crossing boundaries in VET
Two years after the first International Conference "Crossing Boundaries in VET" in Bremen and one year after the foundation of the Institute for Vocational Education and Training at the University of Rostock, we invite you to the 2nd International Conference "Crossing Boundaries in Vocational Education and Training", 16th-18th August 2017, at the University of Rostock, Germany. The CB-VET conference will be one week before the ECER conference in Copenhagen. CB-VET will be without fees (for contributors). For further information and the Call for Papers:
We are looking forward to seeing you all in Rostock, Germany: Franz Kaiser (University Rostock) & Michael Gessler (University Bremen). Supported by IRNVET (International Research Network Vocational Education and Training) and VETNET (European Research Network Vocational Education and Training).
(Posted by Michael Gessler <[email protected]>)

NECE conference "Crossing borders: Migration and citizenship education in Europe"
We would like to remind you to register for this year's NECE (Networking European Citizenship Education) conference 10-12 November 2016 in Zagreb, Croatia! Please register online here. Your participation in debating the complex issues related to the controversies about migration, diversity and identity triggered by migration movements and an unprecedented series of terrorist attacks in the past 18 months, is needed and most welcome! Within the conference a rich variety of panels including a spotlight on the state of citizenship education in Croatia as well as field trips to local organisations in Zagreb will offer networking and exchange opportunities. Parallel sessions and interactive formats - such as train the trainer, scenario exercise, two project exchange workshops and open space - will enable participants to actively shape the conference. Please find further details, the conference programme and more information on the organisers and partners at We are looking forward to welcoming you in Zagreb - the city where Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe meet and one of Balkans' most interesting places! If you have any questions, please contact our conference management team labconcepts: [email protected]. Kind regards, Petra Grüne and Christoph Müller-Hofstede (German Federal Agency for Civic Education)
(Info received from Michalina Chrzanowska <[email protected]>)

Save the date: 3-5 May 2017 - 7th Nordic Conference
Adult education in the age of global mobility. 7th Nordic Conference on Adult Education and Learning 3–5 May 2017. School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, Sweden
The multifaceted theme of global mobility, which we address at this  conference, reframes the classical question of whether there is such thing as a Nordic model of adult education, and prompts us to ask how well Nordic adult education has adapted to our age of global mobility?  What processes of transformation, reinvention, and reframing are going on, in practice as well as in theory? Contributions that relate adult education to various frames of reference are welcome. Contact: Cecilia Bjursell <[email protected]>, Henrik Nordvall <[email protected]>. Submission of abstract by 7 January 2017. Abstracts should be sent to [email protected]. More information will be available soon at
(Info received via CR&DALL Site Digest for 09/29/2016/ > info page)

Save the date: EERA-ECER 21-25 August 2017
ECER 2017 on "Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and the role of educational research" will take place in Copenhagen. We would like to encourage you to submit proposals for VETNET symposia, roundtables, workshops, papers or posters! Dates to remember: Emerging researcher conference 21 & 22 August; Main conference: 22-25 August 2017; submission starts 15.11.2016; submission ends 15.01.2017; review results announced 15.03.2017. Information on conference venue, dates and calendar download:
(Posted by Barbara Stalder <[email protected]>)

NOTE: Forthcoming and recent events related to European research in work and learning are listed on the WIFO Conference page [].  

Networks and Organisations

VET & Culture call - "Disciplinary struggles in the history of education"
THis is a preliminary call for the 24th conference of Vocational Education and Culture network, organized together with several other networks: The 13th Summer Days of the Finnish Research Network on History and Philosophy of Education will take place in University of Tampere, 8.-9.6.2017, in collaboration with the research group Equality and Planetary Justice in Adult, Vocational and Higher Education, the research programme Freedom and Responsibility of Popular Adult Education, the research network Vocational Education and Culture and the ESREA network Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning. The Summer Days event invites senior and junior researchers, students and practitioners to discuss different kinds of disciplinary struggles in the history of education, preferably from historical and philosophical perspectives. We invite abstracts of presentations (max 1 page) in English and Finnish by end of February 2017. The sessions will be either in English or Finnish or bilingual. Submission of abstracts and information about the event at the website, and also on the VET and Culture website. Contact: conference assistant [email protected]. On behalf of the organizers Anja Heikkinen (EquJust, history and philosophy of education-network, VET and Culture network, SVV-programme) and Jenni Pätäri (EquJust, SVV-programme, Esrea ADC-network).
(Info received from Anja Heikkinen <[email protected]>)

This year's ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) in Dublin has been busy for VETNET (Vocational Education and Training Network),  featuring  VETNET's 20th anniversary, more than 90 papers, symposia, roundtables, workshops, and poster contributions on strengths and weaknesses of dual and school-based VET systems, workplace learning, VET in initial and higher education, VET teacher education, and new technologies in VET. Learn more about VETNET's development and the evolution of European VET research 1992 - 2016 in the special paper by Pekka Kämäräinen and view public images across 20 years of VETNET VETNET presentations 2016 are available on At their annual assembly, VETNET members expressed their warmest thanks to Michael Gessler and Marg Malloch, outgoing chairpersons and link convenors of VETNET, for the tremendous work they have done over the past years. They are followed by Christof Nägele, University of Applied Science Northwestern Switzerland, and Barbara E. Stalder, University of Teacher Education Bern Switzerland, who have been elected as new chairpersons and link convenors. We are delighted to announce that - pending ratification by the EERA Council - Ludger Deitmer, Institute Technology and Education, University of Bremen Germany, has been awarded Honorary Membership for his outstanding and sustained contribution to VETNET.
(Posted by Christof Nägele <[email protected]> & Barbara Stalder <[email protected]>)

Professional Network for Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
We would like to invite you to get in touch with the online network for young graduates and researchers in adult and lifelong learning. The network facilitates interaction with fellow students, the investigation of academic and professional profiles, and the establishment of the best partners for transnational studies and research. In the public network, current international study and research opportunities in adult and lifelong learning will be disseminated. Join the group:
(Posted by Monika Staab <[email protected]>)

The ripple effect of "crossing boundaries" in the field
Invited by the Career and Workforce Education (CWE@USF) program as a Visiting Scholar, Dr. Eva Rueschen, Research Assistant at the University of Paderborn (Germany), was welcomed to the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, in August. During her visit through early October, she will be collaborating with Dr. Victor M. Hernandez on the planning of a project focusing on a comparative analysis of undergraduate business education in the US and Germany. Dr. Rueschen's visit is the result of collaborative synergy created at the International VET Conference held in Bremen in 2015. The conference theme was about "Crossing Boundaries in VET", and Dr. Rueschen's visit to USF is an example of that, as she and Dr. Hernandez participated in the conference. Earlier this year, Dr. Johanna Lasonen, a faculty member of the CWE@USF program, who also attended the conference, spent several weeks at the University of Bremen as a Visiting Scholar as well. These developments are part of collaborative ripples established between the University of Bremen and the University of South Florida since 2006, and catalyzed by the international conference in 2015. We now look forward to the 2017 International VET Conference, to be held at the University of Rostock, Germany (see website), to continue crossing the boundaries in the field.
(Contributed by Victor Hernandez-Gantes <[email protected]>)

Your guide: Who's who in transnational European VET and HRD research
The Directory of Professional Contacts (, maintained by the Research Forum WIFO, serves as a Who's who, offering up-to-date information on more than 200 contacts across 30 countries in the field of transnational European VET and HRD research. Each person included in the DPC is both a producer of transnational research and an active transnational networker. The criteria for inclusion in the DPC, and and the references to individual professional work are explained in the introduction. They relate to evidence of transnational activities presented in WIFO resources of European collaboration such as the Bookshelf, Overview of articles, Conference page, ECER VETNET Proceedings and Overview of HRD conference papers, Networks at a glance and Overview of projects. The DPC is updated continuously as part of European collaboration in VET and HRD research.
(Contributed by Sabine Manning)

NOTE: References to research networks in the field of European work and learning are available on the WIFO page Networks at a glance []. Major online resources related to European research networks include the ECER VETNET Proceedings ( offering a complete and up-to-date collection of conference papers submitted since 1998, and the Overview of selected HRD conference papers (


Transnational winter school on comparative studies in LLL
We are very happy to announce the 4th Transnational Winter School on "Comparative Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning" at the University of Würzburg/Germany February 6-17, 2017. The Transnational Winter School is dedicated to analysing and comparing international and European strategies in lifelong learning. Based on social policy models, lifelong learning strategies in Europe will be subjected to a critical analysis. Furthermore, subtopics of lifelong learning have been chosen for an in-depth comparison and analysis of the situation in various European countries. For more information see: 
News about the Professional Network for Adult Education and Lifelong Learning is available under >Networks
(Posted by Monika Staab <[email protected]>)

Introduction to Python for social scientists
EDUWORKS, the EU-funded project coordinated by Amsterdam Business School, is organizing a two-day Introduction to Python Course, designed specifically for social scientists. The course will take place on the 27th and 28th of October, 10.00-15.00, on the Roetersisland Campus, room H2.01. Social Scientists are increasingly expected to acquire knowledge on big data, data visualization, and interdisciplinary cooperation (the "data science" framework).  Furthermore, programming is a highly desirable skill for social scientists, so participation in this course could provide you with necessary skills to continue improving programming skills on your own. The course takes a "learning by doing" approach, centered around developing programming solutions for common problems faced by social scientists. The goal of the course is not to focus on acquiring a fully-fledged set of programming skills, but rather to develop coding skills, which can be utilized along with quantitative research skills. For more information and registration, please visit: For any questions, feel free to send an email to [email protected].
(Posted by Gábor Kismihók <[email protected]>)

Doctoral program in innovation and land use management
The Faculty of Economics ( and the Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics ( of the University of Algarve (, Portugal, are preparing the 4th edition of the Doctoral Program in Innovation and Land Use Management (ILUM) to start in October 2017. The PhD program's specific goals are to produce researchers able to promote scientific research in the areas of innovation and land use management, based on multidisciplinary approaches related to spatial and organizational dynamics; to transmit the most recent knowledge and best practices in the area of strategic management, human resources and entrepreneurship; to stimulate innovation and the development of new processes and products with the help of planning processes and knowledge management; and to intensify the general understanding of economic activity and its ability to interact with the surrounding environment. Applications are open. For further information please visit:
(Posted by Julieta Rosa <[email protected]> on behalf of Teresa de Noronha)

NOTE: Contributions are welcome for the next edition of the Directory of Doctoral Dissertations (, provided as part of the WIFO Gateway, which focuses on European research in the field of vocational education (VET) and human resource development (HRD). Please provide information on expected or newly completed doctoral dissertations investigating issues of HRD, VET or work-related adult education, according to the following pattern: 1*Theme of dissertation (original language AND English); 2*Year of (expected) completion or publication; 3*Author (name and email address); 4*Tutor (name and email address); 5*Institution of tutor (name and home page). Contributions should be posted by email to the editor ([email protected]).


EmployID: Learning strategies on how to handle the changing world of work
EmployID is a research project aiming at supporting public employment services and their employees in adapting to the changes to their world of work by facilitating the development of their professional identities (see An interdisciplinary team of learning designers, coaches, trainers, developers, and researchers has been developing learning strategies & tools for Public Employment Services. We offer support on how to face the challenges of changing job profiles and changing professional identities in a highly complex and dynamic labour market. Core skills that we address are related to emotional awareness, active listening, reflection, coaching skills, peer coaching and powerful questioning as well as an understanding and handling of Labour Market Information and the digital agenda. Based on our experience we are offering a free online course on the Changing World of Work starting at the end of March 2017. The course will be running on the EMMA MOOC portal in English and Spanish. Here is a quick preview of what to expect: Registration is already open!
(Contributed by Barbara Kieslinger <[email protected]>)

ComProCom - Communicating professional competence
ComProCom is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership project (09. 2015 -08. 2017) concerned with developing more adequate descriptions of competence for higher-level occupations, where outcome-based conceptions of competence have proved most challenging. The idea of 'competence' is now widely used in Europe both within individual professions and occupations and in relation to EU-wide VET developments, notably the EQF. The examination of competence standards and frameworks from around Europe suggests that there are differing interpretations of what is meant by 'competence' or its cognate; not all frameworks are particularly well researched, structured or expressed, many lack the flexibility and depth needed to be adequate for high-level roles. The project involves framework development and trialling in five professional or industry sectors. It will produce a methodological guide, a course programme for framework developers, and academic output discussing the project results. The project is led by EETAA - Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government S.A. (Greece) working in partnership with: Stan Lester Developments (UK), Institute for Sustainable Technologies - National Research Institute (PL), Irish Institute of Training and Development (IR), Sächsische Bildungsgesellschaft fur Umweltschutz und Chemieberufe Dresden mbH (DE), Die Berater (AT). Further information can be found at
(Posted by Jola Religa <[email protected]>)

ReCall - Retail sector competencies for all teachers
The Erasmus+ project Retail Sector Competencies for all Teachers (ReCall) builds on a strategic Partnership between three European universities and three European vocational schools. The aim of the project is to develop an information and training instrument as a web-based Teacher-Training-Tool (TTT). The TTT includes information and practical exercises of relevant aspects for the four teaching-learning arrangements "criticism", "team competencies", "time management" and "self-evaluation of ability" in classroom. The tutorial offers medial exercises and notes for the teachers at vocational schools in the retail sector, which can be acquired and gleaned at any time and from any place. The TTT and the integrated teaching-learning materials promote self and social competencies. At the end of 2017 the TTT is available online as "Open Educational Resource (OER)". The OER ensures the sustainable usage and dissemination of training and associated materials in teacher training. For more information about ReCall: For more information about the current research process you can register here for the newsletter of Recall:
(Contributed by Christian Hofmeister <[email protected]>)

HE4u2 - Integrating cultural diversity in higher education
HE4u2 is a new European project that will contribute to the reform of teaching and learning in higher education and the improvement of the retention and attainment of migrants and ethnic minority students. There is a clear need and demand for training of teachers in relation to migrant students, for reform in the delivery of support for these learners, and in the intercultural dimension for all learners. HE4u2 will develop an integrated pedagogical approach to the intercultural dimension of existing curricula, CPD courses for staff, and policy recommendations. eucen is the contractor and coordinator of this new proposal submitted under KA3 of ERASMUS. For more information visit: and  
(Info received  via ESREA-ReNAdET mailing list) 

NOTE: Contributions are invited to update the Overview of European research projects [], provided as part of the WIFO Gateway. The overview focuses on transnational research projects, mainly supported by EU programmes, in the areas of human resource development, vocational education, work and learning. Please send the following information to the editor ([email protected]):  (A) exact title and acronym (short name) of the project; (B) name and email address of the coordinator or main contact; (C) address of the website (or info page/ flyer) of the project. Contact: Sabine Manning


History of VET in Europe
Esther Berner and Philipp Gonon (2016). History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe: Cases, concepts and challenges.  Peter Lang Series: Studies in Vocational and Continuing Education [Info]
Understanding todays' Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems requires a comprehension of the rise and development, i.e. of the foundations of topical VET. This book is one of the first publications providing a comparative view of this development in Europe. Apart from older roots, the evolution of VET systems are one trigger of the modernization of economy, society and education itself. The 28 contributions, including countries like Austria, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland of renowned authors and experts in this field are organized in three sections: which are discussing theoretical approaches towards this phenomenon, which stress specific developments of VET in a certain country or region and which are contextualizing the historical perspective in a topical policy context. More information about the Peter Lang series Studies in Vocational and Continuing Education at
(Info received from Anja Heikkinen <[email protected]>)

New issue of IJRVET: Vol. 3, Issue 2
The International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) has published a new issue. The second regular edition of 2016 contains the following topics: Matthias Pilz analyzes training strategies of German subsidiaries abroad and investigates in how far they use the German Dual System; Angela Joy Shaw, Kieron John Shaw and Suzanne Blake examine barriers to internationalisation which were created by structures in VET; entrepreneurial education in vocational schools is studied by Sharmila Sandirasegarane et al.; and Cornelia Tonhäuser and Laura Büker explore the determinants of transfer of training, based on a comprehensive literature review. Please find all articles on
(Contributed by Susanne Kopatz <[email protected]>)

Barriers to internationalisation in VET
Shaw, Angela Joy; Shaw, Kieron John; Blake, Suzanne (2016). Examining Barriers to Internationalisation Created by Diverse Systems and Structures in Vocational Education and Training. International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET). Vol. 3, Issue 2 [Full text]
In a global society, all educational sectors need to recognise internationalism as a core, foundational principle. Whilst most educational sectors are taking up that challenge, vocational education and training (VET) is still being pulled towards the national agenda in terms of its structures and systems, and the policies driving it, disadvantaging those who graduate from VET, those who teach in it, and the businesses and countries that connect with it. This paper poses questions about the future of internationalisation in the sector. It examines whether there is a way to create a VET system that meets its primary point of value, to produce skilled workers for the local labour market, while still benefitting those graduates by providing international skills and knowledge, gained from VET institutions that are international in their outlook. The paper examines some of the key barriers created by systems and structures in VET to internationalisation and suggests that the efforts which have been made to address the problem have had limited success. It suggests that only a model which gives freedom to those with a direct vested interest, students, teachers, trainers and employers, to pursue international co-operation and liaison will have the opportunity to succeed.
(Contributed by Angela J Shaw <[email protected]>)

Migrants in transnational occupational learning processes
Pauliina Alenius (2016). Exploring the role of migrants in transnational occupational learning processes in Estonia-Finland space. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 35:3, 270-285, DOI: 10.1080/02601370.2016.1165748 Details
This paper examines the role of migrants in cross-border learning in occupational contexts by applying theoretical concepts from situated learning theory and transnational migration studies. The research data included 98 interviews with people who had migrated from Estonia to Finland or who were transmigrating between these countries. The results showed how the migrants had engaged in transnational brokering and boundary encounters between work communities across national borders. Transnational brokering had involved introducing new work techniques, clarifying organizational cultures, conveying best practices, and explaining local work requirements and communication styles. These transnational brokers had supported the processes of perspective making and perspective taking by explaining local work practices and, more broadly, mind-sets to non-migrants both in the host society and in their country of origin. The study aims to provide a new perspective through which to examine international and multicultural work environments and the transformation processes related to the increasing cross-border mobility of labour.
(Contributed by Pauliina Alenius <[email protected]>)

Building human capital
Para-González, Lorena; Jiménez-Jiménez, Daniel; Martínez-Lorente, Ángel R. (2016). Building human capital in the European Foundation for Quality Management model of excellence. Int. J. of Human Resources Development and Management, Vol.16, No.3/4, DOI:
The aim of this paper has been to demonstrate how the People criterion of the EFQM Model is strongly related to the two types of human capital (value and uniqueness), and how through those two forms of human capital, the implementation of the Model can achieve superior performance for organizations. Aspects like knowledge, abilities, skills or experience are included under the optic of human capital, in their capacity to develop performance and excellence in organizations. For the study 200 valid questionnaires that were answered by 4 managers in each of 200 organizations were utilized. This methodology improves the consistency of the data gathered with only one respondent from each company and it constitutes one of the strengths of this research. Our results show that the value and uniqueness of human capital play a mediator role in highlighting the effects of HRM policy on organizational performance. As a consequence, this research denotes that a suitable management of employees following the recommendations of the People criterion of the EFQM model and the allocation of good human capital, are an interesting course for getting better company results.
(Contributed by Lorena Para <[email protected]>)

Promoting practical intelligence
Giuditta Alessandrini: Education and transition to work - promoting practical intelligence. In: "Education application & developments II" edited by Mafalda Carmo, InScience Press ( Details
This chapter considers a number of questions in the current discussion on the transition to work, most notably the definition of the pedagogical approach by which the issues at hand are investigated, the review of the relationship between education and development in reference to employability, and the interpretation of the right to education in the light of the precarious nature of the productive processes. This contribution also points to the relevance of the notion of "human development" as explored by Martha Nussbaum, professor of Politics and Philosophy at the University of Chicago, and Amartya Sen, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. It ends with a reflection on a welfare model supported by people empowerment that enhances individual capability. The argument put forward is that major shortcomings can be found in welfare systems in terms of employability. Against this background, the author welcomes a system which enables a full human development. In this sense, social scientists should engage in pursuing new avenues for creativity in order to build a new approach to social responsibility. It is also important to analyse the theoretical and practical differences between the models of competences, like the model in the new European skills agenda 2016, through the capability approach of A. Sen and M. Nussbaum, in order to perceive the complexity of the competences context.
(Contributed by Giuditta Alessandrini <[email protected]>)

Job-related LLL among well-educated employees
Tikkanen, Tarja; Nissinen, Kari (2016). Participation in job-related lifelong learning among well-educated employees in the Nordic countries. International Journal of Lifelong Education. Volume 35, Issue 3. Details
The purpose of this study was to explore participation in job-related lifelong learning (LLL) among well-educated mature workers and compare it across four Nordic countries. Although this group generally is very active in LLL, the centrality of knowledge work in society, rapid pace of skills-renewal, and rising learning demands for all qualifications levels, necessitates a better understanding of the patterns and factors affecting their skill development. The paper builds on theories of learning motivation, human capital, and workplace learning. Data from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) by the OECD were used. In addition to high participation rates, systematic level differences in participation were found across the countries. Results of logit regression analyses revealed clear differences between countries in the models that explained participation, which gave limited support to a single "Nordic model" of LLL. Furthermore, the predictors of participation commonly found among adult populations, low-educated individuals, and/or younger adults, appeared less valid for well-educated individuals.
(Contributed by Tarja Tikkanen <[email protected]>)

Crisis of youth or youth in crisis?
Robin Simmons & John Smyth (2016). Crisis of youth or youth in crisis? Education, employment and legitimation crisis. International Journal of Lifelong Education. Volume 35, Issue 2. Details
This paper uses the Habermasian concept of legitimation crisis to critique the relationship between post-compulsory education and training and the chronic levels of youth unemployment and under-employment which now characterise post-industrial Western economies, such as the UK. It draws on data from an ethnographic study of the lives of young people classified as NEET (not in education, employment or training), or at risk of becoming so to challenge dominant discourses about youth unemployment and the supposed relationship between worklessness, skills deficits and young people’s lack of ‘work-readiness’. The central argument of the paper is that the labour market insecurity experienced by many young people in the UK and elsewhere derives not from some supposed crisis of youth but is symptomatic of the inherent contradictions contained within capitalist modes of production which, it is argued, are exacerbated under neo-liberal policy regimes. The paper contends that various government-led initiatives which purport to prepare young people for the workplace, create links between the individual and the labour market, or force the unemployed into the labour market are, in Habermasian terms, part of an attempt to resolve the crisis of legitimation associated with contemporary capitalist societies.
(Abstract by Robin Simmons & John Smyth <[email protected]> in IJLE)

Connecting learning at different sites
Sappa, Viviana; Choy, Sarojni; Aprea, Carmela (2016). Stakeholders' conceptions of connecting learning at different sites in two national VET systems. Journal of Vocational Education and Training. Volume 68, Issue 3. Details
The notion of conceptions is imperative when facilitating connectivity between learning in schools and in workplaces because 'powerful ways of acting spring from powerful ways of seeing' according to Marton, Runesson, and Tsui (2004, 8). To actively promote collaborations and effective integrated learning across educational and workplace settings VET actors (i.e. teachers, students and workplace supervisors) need to develop conceptions of vocational learning as a transitional and dialogical process across different socio-cultural contexts and practices. A phenomenographic study that analysed qualitative differences in how Swiss and Australian participants understood and experienced learning across the two sites showed that connectivity is experienced on a continuum of linear and progressive circular processes, the latter being more complex yet enriching experiences that offer opportunities to quickly become proficient workers. The findings suggest critical points for creating conditions for VET teachers and learners to develop more sophisticated, complex and powerful understandings of vocational learning and teaching across education and workplace settings. Moreover key actors' agency in explicating, negotiating and possibly reconciling their conceptions and respective roles and responsibilities can effect more integrative and connective-oriented models of vocational teaching and learning.
(Contributed by Sarojni Choy <[email protected]>)

Europeanisation of education?
Fátima Antunes (2016). Economising education: From the silent revolution to rethinking education. A new moment of Europeanisation of education? European Educational Research Journal. Volume 15, Issue 4. Details
Rethinking Education (EC, 2012) suggests a new phase in European education policy. The constitution of education as a marketable service and the European (Higher) Education area as a market was pinpointed as an implicit agenda in the silent revolution in education landscape fostered by the open method of coordination and the Bologna and Copenhagen Processes. What suggests a new momentum is that: (i) education appears programmatically conceived as a marketable service, in the terms of a business and a European-wide and global market; (ii) a VET reform is underway based on German apprenticeship model, which brings together a version of minimal cheap education and a commercial strategy; (iii) there are signs of centralisation of European education policy on the EC and the CEU, under the European semester, and the apparent decline in importance of the Bologna and Copenhagen Processes and the Education & Training 2020 Programme. When looking at Portugal nowadays, the Europeanisation of education, fostered by economic and financial, as well as educational, European policies, and the choices of the government, presents a complex picture, with the shrinking of the welfare state, the increase in education privatisation and commercialisation, and the growing gap between national and European education welfare levels.
(Abstract by Fátima Antunes <[email protected]> in EERJ)

NOTE: Updates on publications provided by the WIFO Gateway include the WIFO Bookshelf [], a collection of references to publications focusing on cross-European issues of work and learning, and "From the Journals" - Overview of articles on cross-European issues in VET and HRD research [], selected from European and international Journals related to education research [].

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