The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Competence-based vocational education and training (VET): the cases of England and France in a European perspective

Brockmann, Michaela, Clarke, Linda and Mehaut, Philippe et al. (2008) Competence-based vocational education and training (VET): the cases of England and France in a European perspective Vocations and Learning, 1, (3), pp. 227-244. (doi:10.1007/s12186-008-9013-2).

Record type: Article


This paper examines the notion of ‘competence’ in the VET systems of France and England. While both countries have developed ‘competence-based’ approaches, underlying the similar terminology are distinct meanings, rooted in the
countries’ institutional structures and labour processes. A key distinction is identified between a knowledge-based model in France and a skills-based model in England.
Competence in the French sense is multi-dimensional and relies on the integration of practical and theoretical knowledge, as well as personal and social qualities within a
broadly defined occupational field. By contrast, in England, competence refers to the performance of fragmented and narrowly defined tasks, with minimal underpinning
knowledge. Thus, whereas ‘competence’ in the English VET system usually denotes functional employability for what may be relatively low-skilled employment, in France, it encapsulates the multi-dimensional development of the individual as a citizen as well as an employee.

PDF vocations_and_learning_2008.pdf - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (248kB)

More information

Published date: August 2008


Local EPrints ID: 343786
ISSN: 1874-785X
PURE UUID: aa28d758-254a-4ba6-876e-216d5a4942e6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Oct 2012 16:42
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:21

Export record



Author: Linda Clarke
Author: Philippe Mehaut
Author: Christopher Winch

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.