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Apprenticeship in England – the continued role of the academic–vocational divide in shaping learner identities

Apprenticeship in England – the continued role of the academic–vocational divide in shaping learner identities
Apprenticeship in England – the continued role of the academic–vocational divide in shaping learner identities
Successive governments have pledged to enhance the quality of apprenticeship in Britain so as to achieve ‘parity of esteem’ with academic study. Yet, at the same time, the discourse of the academic-vocational divide has dominated the academic, policy-maker and practitioner debates. This paper draws on two recent studies designed to explore the learner identities of apprentices on different apprenticeship programmes: motor vehicle maintenance (level 2)and engineering (level 3). Through this work, we are able to explore the role of the academic–vocational divide in identity construction and to challenge assumptions about vocational learners. It will be argued, that, far from being ‘naturally practical’, the young people draw on normative discursive categories in their construction of continuous identities. The findings raise important questions about the UK apprenticeship system as currently conceived, while at the same time drawing attention to the possibility for change.
apprenticeship, academic-vocational divide, learner identities
1363-6820
1-16
Brockmann, Michaela
f8b5697f-f9fc-4645-9bd5-a78af20d0ea5
Laurie, Ian
709eacae-f3a0-48e0-affe-cfae6aa19c86
Brockmann, Michaela
f8b5697f-f9fc-4645-9bd5-a78af20d0ea5
Laurie, Ian
709eacae-f3a0-48e0-affe-cfae6aa19c86

Brockmann, Michaela and Laurie, Ian (2016) Apprenticeship in England – the continued role of the academic–vocational divide in shaping learner identities. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 1-16. (doi:10.1080/13636820.2016.1143866).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Successive governments have pledged to enhance the quality of apprenticeship in Britain so as to achieve ‘parity of esteem’ with academic study. Yet, at the same time, the discourse of the academic-vocational divide has dominated the academic, policy-maker and practitioner debates. This paper draws on two recent studies designed to explore the learner identities of apprentices on different apprenticeship programmes: motor vehicle maintenance (level 2)and engineering (level 3). Through this work, we are able to explore the role of the academic–vocational divide in identity construction and to challenge assumptions about vocational learners. It will be argued, that, far from being ‘naturally practical’, the young people draw on normative discursive categories in their construction of continuous identities. The findings raise important questions about the UK apprenticeship system as currently conceived, while at the same time drawing attention to the possibility for change.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 15 January 2016
Published date: 22 February 2016
Keywords: apprenticeship, academic-vocational divide, learner identities

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388335
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388335
ISSN: 1363-6820
PURE UUID: 398dbfc2-b203-48d8-bf2b-c61aaf84d49e

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2016 09:05
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:17

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