Shaping Flexibility in Vocational Education and Training: institutional, curricular, and professional conditions

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W.J. Nijhof, Anja Heikkinen, Loek F.M. Nieuwenhuis
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 31, 2003 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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Flexibility seems to be the core concept of economic and educational change in our time. The promise of solutions to many problems at the individual, institutional, and national level evokes as much controversy as acclaim. This might be related to the different perspectives of actors and researchers involved in problem-solving in Vocational Education and Training (VET), where, on the one hand, solutions should be sought in key qualifications and transferability, in changing teaching and learning processes, while, on the other, political, institutional, organisational, and professional conditions are seen as the key interventions to build a responsive workforce on the basis of a re-engineered VET system. Consequently, flexibility in connection with vocational education and training and the labour market has several divergent connotations. In this volume, we treat flexibility as a system characteristic of VET in analyzing key conditions for flexibility:

- economic context of VET and the organisational and institutional design of VET;

- educational tools and resources for the flexibility of delivery and pathways at national level;

- VET professionals as promoters of flexibility, mobility, and transferability.

Systemic flexibility is seen as a promising educational answer to hyper-innovation and changing economic conditions in the emerging knowledge-based economy. Individuals, local communities, and VET systems should be able to adapt effectively to changing conditions in society, work, and labour markets.

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About the author (2003)

Nijhof, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.