and methodological aspects of the relationship between HRD and VET research
in the light of recent EU projects
to the CEDEFOP supported project on “Promoting European Perspective in
VET and HRD Research”
Alsace; University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg, France
paper included in the ERO Base > View
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increasingly observed by recent research work especially through the European
projects and related dissemination conferences and publications, HRD and
VET are extending in scope and role and converging, thematically and methodically,
towards more interfacing and complementary activities within the enterprises.
In the context of this development, this paper is a contribution to the
second phase of CEDEFOP supported project on “Promoting European Perspectives
in VET and HRD Research”. It will be basically concentrating on the “thematic
and methodological aspects of the relationship between HRD and VET” in
connection with the research question of “mapping HRD and VET research
across Europe”. It is undertaken by drawing basically on the research work
and the results of the investigations conducted within some of the most
recent European projects through three main sections and an overall conclusion.
section provides an overview concerning the observed recent
and HRD developments through work learning partnership networking”,
based on a sample of the effective practices observed through the results
of the Leonardo project (WLP: 2004-2006) on “Improving Quality of Informal
Learning through Tools and Instruments for Workplace Learning Partnerships”.
The overall aim of the project was to develop tools for VET teachers, trainers
and HRD managers with which sectoral informal learning opportunities can
be fully exploited and work learning partnerships (WLPs) can be initiated
and managed. It involved three categories of regional and sectoral actors
(research institutions in charge, multiplier organisations such chambers
of commerce and industry and SMEs as implementing partners) from each of
the 6 basic partner countries (Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia
and UK). The WLP developed tools included basically: Learning Potential
Analysis (LPA tool), workplace learning partnerships management platform
(WLP Web tool) and a manual for regional or sectoral WLP Brokers (WLP Manual).
section gives an insight into the “structural
developments in the enterprises training market for HRD in Europe”.
It is based on Eurostat quantitative database on CVTS2 Survey (1999) conducted
with about 76,000 enterprises in 25 EU countries. It was completed by the
quantitative and qualitative results of an investigation conducted with
training providers and enterprises in seven partner countries (Austria,
Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and Lithuania) within the
framework of the Leonardo project on “Country Specific Analysis of CVT
Survey in Europe: Benchmarks and Best Practices” (CVTS2-Revisited: 2004-2007).
section of the paper deals with the observed “concomitant
impact of the emerging flexibility/mobility-based mode of HRD and management
on the development of vocational identities and the concept of work”.
It draws basically upon the background research work and results of FAME
Project (2000-2003) on “Vocational Identity, Flexibility and mobility in
the European Labour Market”. The overall guiding research question in this
EU 5FP Project investigation was focussed on how the individuals identify
themselves within their work and learning contexts when they are continuously
challenged to respond to increasing demands for flexibility, mobility,
changing market settings and shifting skill and competence requirements
in three basic sectors: metal transformation industry, IT/telecommunication
and healthcare. The consortium of 7 partner countries (Czech Republic,
Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Spain and the UK) conducted about 100
in-depth interviews with HRD mangers and over 500 interviews with employees
about how employees cope with changes at work and how this might affect
their work identity, their attitude towards work, their learning and career
orientations and development.
the basis of this sample of recent European research projects and related
dissemination workshops and conferences, the concluding section
underlines the following overall tendencies in VET and HRD interfacing
and converging developments within the enterprises in Europe:
is an increasing tendency within the enterprises in Europe to consider
human resource development through investment in VET promotion as a strategic
means for improving their performance, competitiveness and their ability
to keep pace with requirements of change.
is also an emerging move towards the development of formal and informal
work learning partnership networking practices between the enterprises
themselves, their VET suppliers and other institutional, economic and social
actors on regional, national, European and international levels.
identities have progressively undergone important structural changes during
the last decades, leading to two basic developments:
The decline the traditional vocational identities (“fusion/corporatist”
or “promotional corporate” type of identities) rooted in the tradition
of the classical model of HRD and related formal educational and qualification
systems inherited from the Fordist era. They are decomposing into clusters
of “blocked, retreat or even exclusion” identities, unable to cope with
the requirements of change, especially in connection with the dominantly
emerging flexibility/mobility based mode of HR management and development;
The emergence of new generation of flexible vocational identities (of negotiator,
network or mobility type) with a relatively high access to socio-professional
promotion by means of their continuous access to VET, formal and informal
work-based learning. They are more able to internalise the requirements
of change, especially those connected with the new flexibility-mobility
based mode of HR management and development.