National grant awarded to investigate vocational education and training aspirations

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The University of Newcastle's Teachers and Teaching Research Program awarded grant to investigate the formation of children's vocational education and training aspirations.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) grant awarded

The research team: Professor Jenny Gore, Associate Professor Kathryn Holmes, Professor Max Smith, Dr Adam Lloyd, Mr Hywel Ellis and Mr Andrew Lyell secured $71,500 from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

This is one of only seven research grants awarded nationally by the NCVER to explore the policy and operations of Australia's vocational education and training (VET) system.

The project, Choosing VET: investigating the formation of VET aspirations, will examine how and when school students (Years 3-12) express interest in VET and will elucidate students' awareness of VET options and career pathways.

There is currently little research on the early formation of aspirations for VET career options, particularly from the perspective of students. This study will provide an understanding of the early shaping of students' aspirations for pursuing or not pursuing VET options in order to inform how providers and schools can enrich available information while simultaneously addressing current gaps in knowledge and misunderstandings about VET.

The researchers will draw on an extant large dataset, gathered over a four-year period as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Project (2012-2015) to enable a detailed exploration of when VET begins to feature in students' thinking about their futures, for whom, and under what conditions.

"This analysis is particularly critical given the current state of flux of the VET sector. It will provide unique insight into the formation of VET among school students and into students' parents and teachers' understandings of VET processes," Professor Gore said.

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