Occupational Identity in Australian Traineeships: An Initial Exploration

  • Erica SmithEmail author
Part of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (TVET, volume 18)


The development of occupational identity is taken for granted in Australian apprenticeships. The sense of ‘being’ a carpenter, a mechanic or a hairdresser is integral to thinking about a career in a craft or trade, applying for an apprenticeship, undergoing the training period and the eventual practice as a skilled worker. Trainers, employers, trade unions and policymakers share a commitment to the apprenticed trades as distinct and valuable occupations. This chapter looks at the issue of identity in occupations covered by traineeships, which are similar to apprenticeships but have been established for a much shorter time. In an initial and small-scale exploration of this complex area, this chapter reports on data from two industry studies of traineeships in Australia, which were undertaken as part of a larger project on traineeships. The industry studies showed the complex issues surrounding the presence or absence of clear senses of occupational identity in traineeships. This chapter draws some initial conclusions and suggests some policy implications and some directions for further research.


Trade Union Occupational Identity Company Case Study Occupational Commitment Industry Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and ArtsUniversity of BallaratBallaratAustralia

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