Promoting workforce excellence: Formation and relevance of vocational identity for vocational educational training

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Klotz, VK
Billett, S
Winther, E
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Stefan Wolther

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2014
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Abstract

The development of an occupational identity (i.e. a vocation) is a key part and outcome of vocational education provisions. The formation of that vocation (i.e. association with the occupation) is central to how individuals engage with and utilise that knowledge effectively, thereby forming an attachment with and remain in that occupation. So, the formation of vocation is central to and a means by which provisions of vocational education might be evaluated. The study reported and discussed here adopts a multidimensional and subject-oriented perspective in examing relationships among vocational identity, and studnets' engagements with their workplaces and selected occupations. Premised on an instrument developed for this purpose, an explanatory model of these relations is introduced that accounts for the major influencing factors in and impacts of vocational identity formation. The model was tested empirically using structural equation modelling. The subjects (N = 504) comprised German vocational students enrolled either within the dual system (i.e. half-time in workplaces) or in a school-based educational program. The results suggest the importance of free career choice for identity formation along with the integration of experiences in workplaces during the VET. These findings elaborate further vocational and organisational identity as important mediators for the development of occupational and attachment.

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Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training

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6

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© The Author(s) 2014. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.

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Technical, further and workplace education

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