Facilitating Lifelong Learning Through Vocational Education and Training: Promoting Inclusion and Opportunities for Young People in the UK

  • Natasha KershEmail author
  • Nathalie Huegler
Reference work entry


This chapter will consider the role of vocational education and training in contributing to strategies to enhance the life chances and social inclusion of young adults. Recent changes in economic and social development and the impact of globalization have contributed to the changes in perception of both vocational learning and skills required by contemporary workplaces. Vocational and work-based learning has been recognized as a core component of national and international strategies for lifelong learning (LLL) (Evans 2012; NIACE 1999; Aspin et al. (eds) (2012) The second international handbook of lifelong learning. Springer, Dordrecht), which aim to bring about higher participation and inclusion of young people, especially those who are considered to be vulnerable or disadvantaged. Engaging vulnerable young people through different forms of lifelong learning has been strongly related to addressing the specific needs and requirements that would facilitate their participation in social, economic, and civic/political life in their relevant contexts. The chapter will consider the links between LLL and VET, particularly discussing the extent to which the different discourses of LLL and adult education influence strategies and approaches for vulnerable young people and the implications of VET. The chapter will further consider some policy and practice developments in the UK context, in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Subsequently, some approaches will be considered to illustrate the debate and developments, particularly drawing on research findings from selected research projects. The chapter will conclude with discussing the potential of VET for promoting active citizenship specifically in providing the learners with both economic and social skills in a lifelong learning perspective.


Lifelong learning Inclusion Active citizenship Young adults Vocational education and training (VET) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of Education, University College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karen Evans
  • Natasha Kersh
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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