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