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The role of vocational education and training in developing social inclusion

Special issue call for papers from Education + Training

The City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) invites researchers and practitioners to submit papers for a Special Edition focusing on the role of education, training and skills development in social inclusion. The Special Edition will be edited by Kate Shoesmith and Kathleen Collett from CSD

About the City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development
The City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) is a not-for-profit research and development body focusing on policy and practice issues affecting vocational education and training (VET) worldwide. It believes that skills are vital to achieving economic and social prosperity for people, organisations and nations. CSD conducts and commissions original research, seeks to share good practice and works with stakeholders to help turn research findings into viable policy and practice solutions. It also conduct skills development projects to put its research findings into practice.

The special issue

In 2008, the UN reported that globalisation is widening the gap between the rich and poor internationally as well as within regions and countries. Income gaps are problematic in various ways, not least in terms of social cohesion. Good quality education and training programmes have the potential to provide the necessary skills that enable people to participate more fully in changing, globalised economies. In particular, training can help marginalised individuals and communities gain economically, thereby participating more fully in economic and social life of society.

It is the role that training programmes, particularly vocational education and training, can play in social inclusion agendas that papers in this issue of Education + Training will seek to explore.

An open call for international papers will be issued asking for contributions under the broad heading of ‘the role of training in promoting social inclusion’. As their starting point, the papers may choose to examine these particular questions or present research on the following themes:

• Can vocational education and training support social inclusion? 
• How accessible is vocational education in comparison to other types of education?  How could it be made more accessible?
• What are the barriers to vocational education and training for marginalised groups?
• What evidence is there that vocational education and training improves the economic prospects of marginalised individuals and communities?
• What needs to change about the way vocational education and training is delivered to support access and progression, thereby leading to greater levels of social mobility?
• How does the issue of status affect young people’s chances of getting a job with a vocational qualification?
• What evidence is there of education and training policy addressing the issue of social exclusion?
• Is there evidence on which types of funding for vocational education and training better address the needs of different communities.

Papers may choose to focus on particular communities or groups, for example but not exclusive to, – ethnic minorities, religious groups, gender, disabled learners, individuals with learning difficulties, different age groups, offenders and ex-offenders, class structures within society. Papers that present research from developing country contexts, or those with lessons learnt that are of value in such contexts, will be particularly welcome.

Contributions from academics involved in research within this field and practitioners involved in the design, management and delivery of skills development programmes with impact on social inclusion are welcomed.

Next steps
We invite anyone interested in contributing to this Special Edition to contact the editors with a statement of intent. This should be a short (150 – 200 word) outline of the proposed paper, identifying the nature of the proposed paper (research paper, case study, reflection on practice), and how it will contribute to the Special Edition. Please forward the outline to [email protected] and [email protected]

Outlines must be received by 1 November 2010. Please address any queries to the same e-mail addresses. The deadline for receipt of final papers is anticipated to be April 2011 with publication planned for September 2011.

Requirements for authors submitting papers to Education + Training can be found at Final articles should not be longer than 5000 words.

The Guest Editors

Kathleen Collett
Senior Manager – Research
City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development

Prior to joining City & Guilds, Kathleen did research for a Ford Foundation-funded project on structuring multi-stakeholder processes across UN agencies, and has also participated in several community education projects in countries including South Africa and Jamaica. Kathleen has an honours degree in Economics from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where she wrote her thesis on the differential impact of education funding on different community groups. She also has a Masters in Politics from Oxford University, and has authored two papers on community involvement in vocational training. Kathleen co-authored CSD’s ‘Training for Rural Development’ report and was responsible for the primary research in Ghana. Kathleen has been with CSD since March 2008.

Kate Shoesmith
Senior Manager – Policy & Practice
City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development

Kate Shoesmith leads on Policy & Practice at CSD and is responsible for the collection and dissemination of research, intelligence and best practice in skills. Kate has worked in vocational training for a decade, in areas such as qualifications development, standards assessment and employer engagement. She was previously responsible for co-ordinating and managing the Federation of Awarding Bodies, a trade association that works to lobby the UK Government and its agencies on the vocational needs of practitioners, learners and employers. She has been with the Centre for Skills Development since its launch.