Vocational Education and Training (VET) plays an important role in the reshaping of upper secondary school curriculum. Retention to the end of secondary education in Australia went from 35% in 1980 to 72% in 2000. This increase caused major problems for the senior school curriculum which historically prepared students for university entrance but now has to serve multiple purposes. While the purposes of VET suit different groups, our interest is those students alienated from, reluctant to complete, or attempting re-entry into senior secondary education. Our objective is to understand policy reforms in this area, in order to assist stopping the spiral of disadvantage in which these young people are caught. We shall argue that VET has the potential to re-engage young people with education. With the labour market becoming more knowledge-based, such re-engagement becomes increasingly important. We ask to what extent is the post-compulsory curriculum serving student and family ambitions for employment in a way that is equitable and inclusive?
International Journal of Inclusive Education Vol. 6, Issue 3, p. 251-266