Knowledge, skills, competence: European divergences in vocational education and training (VET)—the English, German and Dutch cases


Brockmann, Michaela, Clarke, Linda and Winch, Christopher (2008) Knowledge, skills, competence: European divergences in vocational education and training (VET)—the English, German and Dutch cases. Oxford Review of Education, 34, (5), 547-567. (doi:10.1080/03054980701782098).

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Description/Abstract

Policy debates on employability, lifelong learning and competence?based approaches suggest a convergence of VET approaches across European countries. Against the background of the creation of a European Qualifications Framework, this paper compares the VET systems of England, Germany and The Netherlands. The analysis reveals the distinct understandings and meanings of outwardly similar terms. These meanings are deeply rooted in the countries’ institutional structures and labour processes and still inform national debates and policies today. The paper identifies a major distinction between a ‘knowledge?based’ VET model in Germany and The Netherlands and a ‘skills?based’ model in England. There is a need to develop trans?national categories that take into account the social construction of terms such as ‘skills’ and ‘qualifications’.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/03054980701782098
ISSNs: 0305-4985 (print)
1465-3915 (electronic)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Southampton Education School > Centre for Higher Education at Southampton (CHES)
ePrint ID: 343779
Date :
Date Event
October 2008Published
15 September 2008Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2012 16:40
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:35
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/343779

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