This paper will evaluate the changing nature of further and higher education through a broad analysis of global trends towards a new vocationalisation of curriculum, supported by a case study of my own institution. The re-newed emphasis on 'work-readiness' and public job training is shaping new constructs around general and technical knowledge, and particularly around what is 'validated knowledge' in the light of the future 'knowledge society' and the types of work that future envisages (and who will do this work). The University of Newcastle in Australia, with its partner at the Central Coast Campuses – the TAFE NSW Hunter Institute – is developing new strategic directions focussing on a closer alignment between undergraduate teaching and workplace experience. This paper will follow a Deweyan perspective on the synergies between education, work and knowledge, but applied to the contemporary world of global workforces and the resultant issues around skills and mobility.
5th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL5): Rethinking the ‘Centre’ and the ‘Margins’ in researching Work and Learning. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (Cape Town, South Africa 2-5 December, 2007)