VET in the compulsory years of schooling: A pathway into the future or a dead end?

Erica Smith, Roslin Brennan Kemmis

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    Abstract

    When VET in schools in Australia was introduced in its current iteration in the 1990s, it was primarily designed for students in the post-compulsory years of schooling ' Years 11 and 12. However the possible advantages of VET for students in at-risk groups prone to early school leaving has led to its adoption lower down the secondary school. As Polesol and Helme stated in 2003, 'To put it bluntly, VET in Schools may well be a good idea that arrives too late to help some of our most vulnerable students.' (Polesol & Helme, 2003, p. 93). However, early streaming into 'academic' and 'vocational' has been shown in other countries to have some negative effects. This paper reports on a research project which gathered together data from the literature, policies and practices in State education systems, and overseas countries' experiences to produce a 'SWOT' analysis for VET in the lower secondary years and arguments against student 'streaming' though involvement in VET.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-34
    Number of pages11
    JournalVOCAL The Australian Journal of Vocational Education and Training in Schools
    Volume8
    Issue number2010 -2011
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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