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Employers' perspectives on current qualifications for the coloration industry

Roberts, Michael (2005) Employers' perspectives on current qualifications for the coloration industry. EdD thesis, University of Leeds.

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The introduction of the competence-based NVQ framework during the late 1980s represented one of the most radical and ambitious attempts hitherto undertaken by any UK government for reforming the British vocational education and training system. While these reforms have generated an abundance of studies relating to competence-based education and training generally, by contrast, there has been only limited research into the views of employers towards adopting this approach. The aim of this thesis, therefore, is to investigate the views of employers in the coloration industry towards the potential displacement of traditional, knowledge-led qualifications by competence-based forms. This is important in view of the central position within the NVQ system that successive governments have placed employers and, de facto, employers’ bearing on its ultimate success or failure. Their views become all the more significant in the light of earlier studies, which reveal the indifference shown many UK employers’, compared with their overseas competitors, towards securing quality education and training for their employees. Combining the findings drawn from a series of interviews conducted with key training personnel with those from a questionnaire survey of employers themselves, the research attempts to gain a national perspective of the latter’s attitudes towards these and related issues. The overall findings can be seen to be a product both of the type of industry structure and the failure of the main protagonists to take account of the epistemological differences between differently acquired forms of knowledge. Most employers feel that the current examination-based system is not wholly relevant to their immediate business needs and that they would prefer to see schemes in place that focus more on their particular occupational activities (though it is evident that there is a diversity in attitude between the two main sectors of the industry (viz. colorant manufactures and colorant users) with more companies in the former sector seemingly being more tolerant of the limitations of what the education and training providers can deliver). While both sectors value a system that provides intrinsic benefits to their respective employees, it is suggested that this stance is not entirely altruistic as these benefits may also be interpreted in organisational terms. Finally, the success with NVQs reported by companies that have implemented them at the lower, operative level tends to overlook the problems created for those sections of the workforce marginalised by their introduction. Moreover, despite their evidently satisfactory implementation at this level, it appears that employers overall are reluctant to adopt the standards-based model to supplant the discipline-led provision that is currently available for their higher-level technical staff.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information: Thesis supplied by the author.
Keywords: ‘academic–vocational divide’; accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL); behavioural objectives and CBET; competence levels; competence-based education and training (CBET); de-skilling; economic instrumentalism; employer-led qualifications; employer-led training; employment-orientated curriculum; experiential learning; flexible specialisation; Fordism; ‘Great Debate’ on education, 1976; human capital theory; Industrial Training Boards (ITBs); intrinsic/extrinsic value of qualifications; knowledge: (—academic,—cognitive, —epistemological position, —tacit); knowledge-led education and training; knowledge-based qualifications; liberal humanism; Modern Apprenticeships; National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ); National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs); post-Fordism; professional bodies (PBs); professional qualifications; research & development (R&D): (—its economic value in the workplace, —role of academic knowledge in); Taylorism; Technical Certificates; vocational education and training (VET); vocational qualifications; vocationalisation; vocationalised curriculum; work-based learning
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.557349
Depositing User: Dr Michael Roberts
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2011 14:52
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1613

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