Making generic skills more than a mantra in Vocational Education Policy

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Engaging pedagogies: AARE 2006 International Education Research Conference Proceedings, 2007, pp. 1 - 15
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The need to retrain workers when there are changes in technology is seemingly circumvented by the teaching of generic skills in VET. Generic skills have moved on and off the Australian VET policy agenda since the early 1990s and in the form of the Mayer Key Competencies they have been given much attention from time to time. However there is little evidence that policy makers have any real understanding of what generic skills involve and their link to transfer of learning. Recently there has been a move to focus upon another set of generic skills, employability skills, with this seeming to be an acknowledgement of the failure of the Mayer Key Competencies in policy terms. This paper looks at what needs to be done to ensure the effective teaching and transfer of generic skills and to move beyond mere policy rhetoric. Employers have key roles to play and in this there may be an opportunity for establishing an appropriate, practical relationships between on- and off-site workplace education.
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