The International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training (IJRVET) is a double blind peer-reviewed journal for VET-related research. This journal provides full open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the science community and the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge and the further development of expertise in the field of Vocational Education and Training (understood in a wide sense and also known as e.g. TVET Technical Vocational Education and Training, Professional Education and Training, Career and Technical Education, Workforce Education).

Publisher: IJRVET is the official journal of VETNET (founded in 1996), the European Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (umbrella organisation: EERA European Educational Research Association), supported by Cinterfor (founded in 1963), the Centro Interamericano para el Desarrollo del Conocimiento en la Formación Profesional / Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (a technical service of OIT Organización International del Trabajo / ILO International Labour Organization) and IRNVET (founded in 2013), the International Research Network in Vocational Education and Training (umbrella organisation: WERA World Education Research Association). The OJS is hosted at the Data Center of the University of Bremen, Germany. Link to IJRVET

Current Issue – Table of Content

  • Going Back-to-School in Vocational Education and Training: Introduction
    This is the introduction of the IJRVET's special edition in 2017 "Going Back-to-School in Vocational Education and Training".
    Louis Cournoyer, Geneviève Fournier, Jonas Masdonati
  • Why Returning to VET?
    Educational choices, especially the influence of class on these choices have been a subject of lively international debate. However, thus far, there has been little international and comparative research with respect to vocational and education training (VET) decision making from a subject-oriented perspective. This paper considers occupational-biographical orientations of English and German car mechatronics and focuses on the roles of learning and gaining vocational qualifications. Drawing on the concept of occupational-biographical orientations, the paper describes three types of orientations based on analyses of findings from 11 autobiographical-narrative interviews with English and German car mechatronics. The interviews clearly showed that occupational-biographical orientations explained different views on the necessity of returning to (continuous) vocational education and training. They also demonstrated that subjective perceptions of the national VET system fostered particular occupational-biographical challenges, which supported or hindered existing learning attitudes. Overall, the findings suggested that occupational-biographical orientations exerted the most important influence on learning biographies and decisions to return to (continuous) VET.
    Erika Edith Gericke
  • Decision-Making Rationales among Quebec VET Student Aged 25 and Older
    Each year, a large number of students aged 25 years and over take part in vocational and education training (VET) programs in the Province of Quebec, Canada. The life experiences of many of these adults are marked by complex psychosocial and professional events, which may have influenced their career decision-making processes. This paper aimed to identify key rationales guiding the decisions of adults aged 25 years and older to return to education based on a thematic analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews with students enrolled in a VET program. The analysis focused on two theoretical axes: one biographical and the other interactionist. The first involved personal life courses and professional projects undertaken by the student in the past. The second examined tensions and conflicts between context forces and adjustment strategies adopted by the student. The results revealed five decision-making rationales that characterized the vast majority of the students’ experiences: 1) get out of a socioprofessional and economic slump; 2) know yourself better, personally and socially; 3) value the concrete and the practical; 4) take advantage of supporting conditions; and 5) reconcile proximity and the known. The relevance and implications of these findings for professionals and decision makers in vocational training are discussed.
    Louis Cournoyer, Frédéric Deschenaux
  • The Reasons Behind a Career Change Through Vocational Education and Training
    We report the results of qualitative research on adults who enrolled in a vocational and education training (VET) program with the intention of changing their careers. The participants were 30 adults aged between 25 and 45 years. A modified version of the consensual qualitative research method was applied to transcriptions of semi-structured interviews with the participants. There appeared to be two main reasons underlying the decision to enrol in a VET program with the aim of initiating a career change. Based on the reasons given, two groups (career changers and proactive changers) and five distinct categories were recognized. The career changers included individuals who wished to change careers due to dissatisfaction with their current situation. In this group, the decisions were motivated by either health problems or personal dissatisfaction. The proactive changers included individuals who wished to reorient their career because of a desire to undertake new projects. In this group, there were three categories of reasons: a wish to attain better working conditions, a search for personal growth and a desire to have an occupation that fitted the person’s vocation. Thus, the participants reoriented their careers according to various motivations, pointing to the existence of a heterogeneous population and the complexity of the phenomenon. The results highlight the importance of understanding the subjective reasons behind career changes and the need to adjust career interventions accordingly.
    Jonas Masdonati, Geneviève Fournier, Imane Zineb Lahrizi
  • When Work Comes First: Young Adults in Vocational Education and Training in Norway
    Since reforms implemented in 1994, vocational education and training (VET) in Norway has been integrated and standardized as part of upper-secondary education. When young people enter upper-secondary education at the age of 15 or 16, they can choose either a vocational programme or a general academic programme. The standard model in vocational programmes is 2 years of school-based education, followed by 2 years of apprenticeship training. However, in practice, only a minority follow the standard route and acquire a trade certificate within 4 years. The average age upon completion of a vocational programme in Norway is 28 years, which is among the highest in the OECD. The purpose of this study was to explore personal trajectories within the Norwegian context to gain a better understanding of why people choose to obtain a trade certificate as young adults, instead of following the standardized route, drawn up by policy makers. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 34 people who obtained a trade certificate when they were aged between 25 and 35 years. The study showed that the opportunity to acquire formal VET qualifications through workplace learning provides an important second chance for many young adults in Norway. Based on the findings, we argue that policy makers need to see educational achievement in a long-term perspective and to design institutional structures that support learning opportunities at work, as well as in formal educational settings.
    Anna Hagen Tønder, Tove Mogstad Aspøy
  • VET Again: Now as a VET Teacher
    In 2010, a mandatory teacher training course was introduced for new vocational college teachers in Denmark. Since then, all vocational teachers have to complete the same course, regardless of practical work experience and educational background. After completion, they apply the knowledge to a very specific practice (i.e. teaching within a specific vocational field at a specific type of college). Thus, individual teachers experience different ‘learning trajectories’, depending on the vocational field and place of employment. They amass different experiences, including going back to school, just like newly enrolled students at a vocational college. This paper is based on empirical data from a qualitative study. It examines the learning trajectories of vocational teachers who choose to return to vocational colleges as VET teachers. Based on the analyses of two cases, we discuss the consequences for teachers’ pedagogical practice at vocational colleges and its potential for solving various challenges that colleges face.
    Henriette Duch, Karen Egedal Andreasen