The Meso-Social Benefits of Vocational Education and Training for Social Groups and Communities

Report for CEDEFOP

This report for CEDEFOP considers the meso-social benefits for social groups and communities. This is a subject of considerable interest both academically in terms of the contribution of Vocational Education and Training at the community level, and in policy terms, as agendas in European countries are orientated towards community cohesion and active, participatory citizenship.

This report can be contextualised in terms of a long history of VET as being implicated in mitigating against the disruption of community due to changes in economy and society. Indeed, the focus on community, social groups and VET has been long standing, arising from major shifts in the nature of the global economy in the 21st century from an industrial to a knowledge based economy.

We consider that VET has two benefits for groups at the meso-level being social capital formation and psycho-social benefits (group identity and quality of life). We also consider that the benefits of VET might accrue differently to different social groups on the basis of characteristics such as income, gender, household type and citizenship.

We would expect people who engage in VET to benefit differentially according to their membership of different social groups. In this report we look at the differential benefits for social groups and communities. For quantitative purposes the five social groups identified are: income groups, gender, household type, citizenship (nationals, EU nationals, and nonnational), and birth place groups.

Download report in PDF