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Do higher education institutions make a difference in competence development?: a model of competence production at university

This paper proposes a model of competence development required of graduates at work which suggests that universities make a difference when they add value to their students. They add value by ensuring that their modes of teaching and learning, and assessment positively enhance the competencies of their students which are important in the labor market. [The] results have clear implications for policy in the Bologna process. One of the main challenges facing higher education institutions in Europe is to transform their current pedagogical practices - the lecture continues to be the dominant teaching method - into competence-based teaching as a response of universities to labor market needs. In this paper, econometric evidence shows that innovative methodologies used by Spanish universities play a key role in competence development. This is consistent with the view that education raises productivity; a finding that refutes some theories which suggest that education may be no more than a screening device which allows employers to identify the more able potential employees from the rest. Besides the importance of formal academic institutions, firms appear to be sources of learning and skill formation as well.

This paper proposes a model of competence development required of graduates at work which suggests that universities make a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Velasco, Manuel Salas
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Spain; Europe
Journal title: Higher education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Employment; Research;

VITAL Object

Assessing at the borderline: judging a vocationally related portfolio holistically

This study investigated the cognitive strategies that underpin assessors' holistic judgments of a school-based vocationally-related portfolio performance. Using a portfolio already identified as containing borderline qualities, quantitative data were gathered about features that six assessors attended to as they holistically evaluated the portfolio. This information was gathered through verbal protocols and supplemented with information from a modified Kelly's Repertory Grid interview technique. This elicited assessors' perceptions about the characteristics of the assessment criteria, allowing the influence of each factor to be ranked. Another objective was to collect qualitative data about the socio-contextual features in which the assessors' practices were situated. The study uses Activity Theory to explore the relationship between the factors that potentially influence assessors' judgments, suggesting a theoretical position that assessor judgments are influenced or framed within the context of their experience and differing perspectives.

This study investigated the cognitive strategies that underpin assessors' holistic judgments of a school-based ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Johnson, Martin
Date: 2008
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Journal title: Issues in educational research
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Vocational education and training; Assessment; Evaluation;

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The impact of within country heterogeneity in vocational specificity on initial job matches and job status

This paper analyses the impact of vocational specificity on school-to-work transitions in terms of initial job mismatches and socioeconomic status at the individual level. Considering heterogeneity amongst the various qualifications in Austria, the study finds that the positive impact of specificity on initial labour market placement known from cross-country research also holds within the highly stratified Austrian system in which various vocational specialisations are provided at the upper secondary level. Independent of the level and field of the qualification obtained, vocational specificity facilitates initial labour market placement, resulting in a reduced mismatch risk and an increase in initial jobs status. In the course of subsequent labour market adjustments, however, holders of general qualifications attain higher status gains when changing jobs. Likewise, the overqualified can make up for a good part of their initial status penalty on labour market entrance through job changes. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

This paper analyses the impact of vocational specificity on school-to-work transitions in terms of initial job mismatches ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Vogtenhuber, Stefan
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Austria; Europe
Journal title: Journal of vocational behavior
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Vocational education and training; Providers of education and training; Secondary education;

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High-school dropouts and transitory labor market shocks: the case of the Spanish housing boom

This paper addresses the implications of transitory changes in labor market conditions for low versus high educated workers on the decision to acquire education. To identify this effect, [the author] uses the improvement in the labor market prospects of low educated workers motivated by the increases in employment and wages in the construction sector during the recent housing boom. The estimation strategy is based on the fact that changes in the labor market driven by the construction sector affect only men. Increases in construction activity are found to increase men's propensity to drop out of high-school, relative to women. According to this finding, policies promoting education should strengthen when in the presence of transitory shocks in the labor market that make dropping out more attractive.

This paper addresses the implications of transitory changes in labor market conditions for low versus high educated workers ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Aparicio, Ainhoa
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Spain; Europe
Resource type: Discussion paper
Series name: IZA discussion paper
Subjects: Labour market; Participation; Employment;

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Postretirement career planning: testing a model based on social cognitive career theory

Many countries are exposed to challenges due to demographic change. Keeping employees in the workforce beyond retirement age could help counter these challenges. Thus, extending the knowledge on the process of postretirement career planning is important. Therefore, drawing on social cognitive career theory, [the authors] develop and test a model for postretirement career planning in this study. An online survey including measures of occupational self-efficacy, interest in occupation-related activities as well as postretirement career outcome expectations, intention, and planning activity was completed by 124 individuals working in different occupations in Germany. Participants were aged 49-65 years and 54 per cent were male. Findings suggest that self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and interest are important factors in postretirement career planning. Altogether the predictors accounted for 37 per cent of variance in postretirement career intention and nine per cent of variance in planning activity. Based on [the authors'] findings, options to foster postretirement career planning [are disussed].

Many countries are exposed to challenges due to demographic change. Keeping employees in the workforce beyond retirement age ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Woehrmann, Anne M.; Deller, Juergen; Wang, Mo
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: Journal of career development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Career development; Employment; Workforce development;

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Work 2.0: helping the hardest to help: targeted assistance, incentives and the Work Programme

The Work Programme is the UK Coalition Government major welfare-to-work policy, replacing 13 back-to-work schemes with a national initiative that is led by private and third sector providers. The author of this report argues that the danger is that any new design of the Work Programme will continue to lack financial incentives to help the hardest to help back into work. This report provides a blueprint for how the Work Programme should be improved, including ideas on how to better assess jobseeker needs, how to integrate the Programme into the structures of Universal Credit [a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income], and how to better recognise local labour market conditions.

The Work Programme is the UK Coalition Government major welfare-to-work policy, replacing 13 back-to-work schemes with a ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Holmes, Ed
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Policy; Employment; Disadvantaged;

VITAL Object

Vocational education and training and youth employment: some experiences from Germany

This paper gives an overview of the vocational education and training system and the youth employment in Germany and the linkage between learning and requirements of the labor market. This paper shows several of the relevant elements and also developments of the German VET system.

This paper gives an overview of the vocational education and training system and the youth employment in Germany and the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Muenchhausen, Gesa
Conference name: KRIVET International Seminar
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Governance; Vocational education and training; Employment;

VITAL Object

Getting qualified for employment: how the dual-track VET system in Switzerland matches skills development and the needs of the labour market

Vocational education and training (VET) traditionally plays an important role in Switzerland. The VET system is generally highly recognised and supported by a policy which advocates a market-oriented system and aims at an early integration of young people into the labour market. The general goal of VET - certainly not only in Switzerland - may be described as follows: building the competencies needed for successful integration into the labour market and for life-long learning. This means that the qualification needs of the labour market have to be met by teaching occupation-specific knowledge and skills, but also by steering the VET system to match demand and supply for work force as good as possible. At the same time, general education should continue to be fostered, at least in initial VET and transferable, personal and social skills should also be encouraged. Further, the system should offer flexible options for higher professional education. Some facts and figures about VET in Switzerland will be presented in this paper to show that these goals are not mutually exclusive but can be successfully pursued and met. The attractiveness and competitiveness of the Swiss VET system could so far be preserved and partly even enhanced. This is reflected by the preferred educational choices made by the youth and adults at upper secondary and tertiary level, by the returns on educational investments and by the general employment situation. Around 70 per cent of the school-leavers enrol in VET programmes at upper-secondary level. Switzerland has a comparatively low youth unemployment rate and the dual VET system is certainly one of the success factors. The majority of VET students experience a relatively smooth school-to-work transition in Switzerland, thanks to the proximity of their training to the world of work.

Vocational education and training (VET) traditionally plays an important role in Switzerland. The VET system is generally ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Swars, Erik
Conference name: KRIVET International Seminar
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Switzerland; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Vocational education and training; Youth; Employment;

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Developing relevant skills: culture and structure (the case of Norway)

This country paper highlights and discusses the 12 key challenges for Norway that were identified through the OECD Skills Strategy Project. The 12 challenges are: (1) ensuring strong foundation skills for all; (2) reducing drop-out; (3) informing educational choices; (4) enhancing labor market participation among those receiving disability benefits; (5) encouraging labor market attachment among low skilled youth; (6) ensuring Norwegians remain active longer; (7) engaging employers in ensuring a highly skilled workforce; (8) promoting innovation and entrepreneurship; (9) enhancing the use of migrants' skills; (10) facilitating a 'whole-of-government approach to skills'; (11) ensuring local flexibility and adaptability for nationally designed policies; and (12) building partnerships at the local and national level to improve implementation.

This country paper highlights and discusses the 12 key challenges for Norway that were identified through the OECD Skills ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Bakke, Joakim
Conference name: KRIVET International Seminar
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Norway; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Skills and knowledge; Employment; Youth;

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Models of quality assurance in evaluation and validation of competencies, for an easier access to higher education

Validation of competencies is an issue very much debated nowadays at European level as a solution for enlarging access to higher education. Unfortunately, the Romanian higher education system is still not open to introducing this flexible pathway from a formal point of view, even though bottom-up practices exist. The paper presents a content analysis of three models elaborated and operating in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Nordic countries, for ensuring quality in the validation practices introduced in their higher education institutions, highlighting possible ways for transferring such models into the Romanian context.

Validation of competencies is an issue very much debated nowadays at European level as a solution for enlarging access to ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Sava, Simona; Borca, Claudia; Danciu, Liliana
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Romania; Switzerland; Netherlands;
Journal title: Procedia: social and behavioral sciences
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Pathways; Higher education; Equity;

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