project’s policy analyses confirmed the difficulties experienced by policy
makers in interpreting change and setting new developments in motion.
The particular policy difficulty of adequately addressing complex learning
issues, particularly those involving different contexts of learning, was
evident. All countries are experiencing demographic change, the effects
of technical innovation and globalisation on jobs and an increasingly delayed
process of insertion into the labour market. Faced with this, VET systems
in all the partner countries have been undergoing reforms and attempts
to align training with current and future demands of labour markets for
flexible workers with good levels of general education and ‘transferable
skills’, as well as relevant technical skills and knowledge.
is clear that lessons from past policy and practice need to be understood
otherwise policy makers are in danger of reinventing what has been done
in the past. There is a big polarisation between ‘leading-edge’ and other
companies in their human resource policies – those successfully
making the transition in the new context of work are doing the same thing:
they share their values, make clear what is expected of employees and what
responsibility they have for the successful running of the company. Moreover,
these developments are beginning to generate a new human resources agenda.
One factor is the responsibility felt by individuals and teams for adding
value on behalf of the company for which they work. Consequently, in future,
it will no longer be appropriate to view the purpose of work experience
in knowledge-based companies as developing a technical competence in ‘something’.
It will increasingly have to be viewed as a means of developing that involved
sense of responsibility that enables young people to add value by knowing
how to manage existing work processes effectively and, wherever possible,
working in ‘communities of practice’ to transform existing work practices.
overall policy analysis confirmed the renewed emphasis (public or rhetorical)
upon learning in the workplace. Debates on lifelong learning included
reference to the importance of learning outside formal institutions, such
as in workplaces, on-line and in community and other settings – even though
actual policy was still seen as wedded to traditional notions of work experience
(Griffiths et al. 2001, pp. 6f., 26f.).