1 Education Institute, University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
2 Polytechnic Institute of Setubal, College of Business Administration (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 7669-7678
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1786
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
This communication is part of the research project YOUNG_ADULLLT (EU’s Horizon 2020). The purpose of this project is to understand the interaction between lifelong learning policies, the life conditions and stages of young adults in situations of vulnerability, and the promotion of social development and inclusion. This communication focuses on the analysis of double certification professional provisions (Apprenticeship courses, Professional courses and Adult VET courses), promoted either by regular and Professional schools or public training centres, in the sub-region of the Alentejo Litoral, in Portugal. The analysis developed is based on the theoretical framework of cultural political economy (Jessop, 2004, 2010). The adoption of this theoretical perspective allows us to critically discuss the discursive rhetoric that supports the creation and implementation of these provisions, their orientations and objectives, the way in which their target-group is constructed, and the effects (expected and not expected) on the life courses of young adults. The developed analysis is supported by an empirical corpus built on the basis of documentary collection of legislation and semi-structured interviews with promoters of these offers at local level and education and training street-professionals involved in them, which was subsequently the object of content analysis (Bardin, 2009). The analysis of the data collected reveals, from the legislative point of view, a discursive rhetoric strongly anchored in a technical-instrumental perspective of education and training, oriented to the management of human resources and to employability. Providing individuals with a high school diploma and a vocational qualification according to the needs of the local labor market are the great purposes of these provisions. Increasing individual employability, defying unemployment, reducing early school leaving and promoting inclusion are the official objectives, in some cases, and un-official, in others, to which the respondents adhere without reservation. Adherence to vocationalism is one of the dominant emphases of their discourses, albeit mitigated by references to the role that these offers play in the democratization of access and success in fulfilling compulsory schooling. The greatest discrepancies arise between the legislative construction of the target-group of these offers and the sociographic and educational characteristics of the young people who attend them. In all cases, the legal criteria are based on two requirements: age and academic qualifications. However, although the social construction of publics respects the requirements stipulated in the law, it reveals a much higher degree of complexity, where social, educational and symbolic factors prevail. On the one hand, some expected effects such as the increase in the academic and vocational qualification of young people and their employability are totally or partially achieved. And on the other hand, the high seasonality and precariousness of the local and regional labor market associated with low wages contributes to a restricted access to a kind of employment which allows effective social inclusion, only within the reach of a small minority.
Apprenticeship Courses, Professional courses, Adult VET (EFA) double certification courses, inclusion, democratization, employability.