and key qualifications
project GENDERQUAL looks into gendered features of key qualifications and
ways of improving employment opportunities for both sexes. The following
points are made [BNi]:
specific contribution of the project to research on HRD is related to the
gender issue and the topic of career choice. As a general trend, there
is a gendered segregation in the labour market which goes together with
inequality. Equal opportunity employment strategies will have to be redefined,
and respective qualification and promotion programmes should be proof-read
with regard to their effect on both men and women.
leading hypothesis of the project starts out from the fact that in all
European member states the labour markets show gender segregated structures
which are reflected in vocational education and training. Consequently
it is assumed that these structures contribute to the development of gender
specific features of key qualifications. By identifying these features
the project could help develop strategies to reduce gendered options of
career choice. It is intended to identify good practice which works against
Is there more diversity or more convergence in gender issues of vocational
education, competences and career choice in Europe? – [BNi/ KE:] At this
point of investigation it is difficult to draw ultimate conclusions; however
evidence suggests that there is diversity in the extent of how rigid these
gender issues are.
What is meant by 'key qualifications'? – [GH:] They can be defined in a
negative sense: key qualifications or key competences are those abilities
which are not directly connected to the material aspect or subject matter
of a specific occupation. [BNi:] 'Key qualifications' need to be contextualised,
according to the meaning of those competences in each country. [JiS:] They
are similar to the notion of 'core skills' in the UK. [MD:] In France we
prefer to use the term 'transversal competences'.
Where does the organisational dimension (HRD aspect) of the gender issue
come in? – [KE:] There are findings in our research about the ways in which
competences are ascribed to different genders; this is crucial in terms
of selection and expectations. – [AH:] We are looking at work sites in
different companies; competences are being constructed according to organisational
settings of work; in interviews the workers are commenting about competences
in organisations. – [MM:] Perspective of business administration: many
big organisations want to be equal opportunity employers; in their human
resources policies they focus on the distribution of their employees; gender
is an important issue in selection and promotion, for instance placing
enough people/ women in managerial positions. – [JiS:] This also relates
to the selection for HRD within management. – [GH:] This is meant by the
reference to 'improving options for career choice and enhancing human resource
potential' in the project title.
results of the project GENDERQUAL have been presented in the paper on 'gender
and qualification' (Kampmeier 2001) with
particular reference to the German case.
VETNET: Lille Sept 01: Roundtable 'HRD in Europe'