About this Research Topic
The current labor market and requirements for work performance are constantly and drastically changing, due to technological and demographic development, and transformations in the ways that work is undertaken and who does that work. This phenomenon is occurring globally, albeit in different ways across countries given their particular economic and institutional structures. Regardless, employees need to adapt to new demands and companies have to deal with a potential availability and potential lack of qualified workers. Some occupational fields are particularly affected by these changes, e.g. the catering trade, health care, retail trade, and high technology occupations. In these - but also in other occupational fields - a shortage of adequately trained persons is already present or to be expected in the near future.
Continuous vocational education and training (CVET) is being seen as a means by which this problem can be addressed. It is also clear that there are shared interests in the ongoing development of employees' skills. For employees, CVET assists in sustaining employability across lengthening working lives, which includes advancement and transferring to new occupations. For employers, CVET offers the prospect of the supply of qualified workforce.
However, there are some significant challenges for vocational education associated with securing these outcomes. Firstly, many of the models that are used for initial occupational preparation, and mainly for young people, are likely to be inappropriate for CVET. Secondly, if CVET is seen as being only offered through educational institutions, this will mean that not all employees will have equal access to it. This varies according to individual prerequisites and organisational circumstances. Thirdly, the prospect of entire national workforces circulating through programs of CVET repeatedly across working life is probably unsustainable.
Therefore, it is necessary to consider a fresh educational approach to support ongoing learning across working life, and this includes a consideration of how CVET provisions can be offered to meet the needs of adults who are balancing three lives (i.e. work, family and study). In particular, careful attention needs to be paid to the kinds of educational experiences that can be found and enacted in workplaces as a means of addressing issues of access and scale.
Through this Research Topic, we aim to stimulate and advance the development of this field by providing a range of perspectives that analyse existing CVET practises across different countries and present innovative approaches to CVET. We are seeking the following types of articles:
- Theory-based articles that systematically analyze and compare CVET practices around the world.
- Empirical articles describing the development and evaluation of innovative CVET approaches.
- Empirical articles analysing reasons for and barriers against CVET in general or for specific groups, e.g. unemployed people, people with migration background, people with little or no formal qualification, older people, etc.
- Empirical articles focussing on individual determinants of CVET, e.g. motivation, cognitive abilities, previous education etc.
Keywords: Continous Vocational Education and Training, CVET, Digitalisation, Marginalized Groups, Industry 4.0