Vocational Studies, Lifelong Learning an
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Om Vocational Studies
Published in 1999. Lifelong learning is the slogan with which the Labour Government has chosen to publicise and popularise its values and policies for post-16 education and training under the new administration. Dr. Hyland's book subjects New Labour policy - particularly developments surrounding the University for Industry and the New Deal - to searching scrutiny and offers a number of recommendations designed to upgrade vocational education and training (VET). If we are to create a high status and high quality VET system comparable to those of our European competitors we will need, Dr. Hyland argues, to move towards a unified curriculum in the post-school sector bringing with it the abolition of the present three-track model of NVQs, GNVQs and GCSEs/A Levels. More significantly it is argued that all vocational learning - both work-based and college-based - needs to be underpinned by a common core of knowledge and understanding and crucially, be located within a values framework which gives due attention to social justice and community interests rather than simplistic and utilitarian economistic objectives and employability skills. Moreover, the aesthetic and moral dimensions of vocational studies are not optional extras but areas of vocational learning experience which are essential and foundational if vocational education and training is to be enhanced in order to satisfy current lifelong learning criteria. Dr. Hyland's challenging account provides one of the first comprehensive philosophical and policy critiques of New Labour VET developments and will be of interest to those committed to high quality vocational studies on all sides of education and industry as well as to lecturers, tutors, trainers and students working in post-compulsory education and training.