Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' 3 2006, page 7-22.
English resume

Between dreams and realities

Three different stories about being trained as a cabinet maker

Ida Juul

The article analyses the changing political expectations directed toward the VET-system in the post war period. These expectations are put into perspective by three different narratives concerning how the training to become a cabinet-maker could be experienced in the 1960’ies, the 1980’ies and in 2005. The article shows that the choice to become an apprentice is not as obvious a choice in the 1980’ies or today as it was in the 1960’ies. This implies that individuals, who do not have a working class background, are forced to formulate their choice of carrier in to what at the time appears as discursively acceptable arguments. In the 1980’ies it was discursively acceptable in some youth cultures to distance on self from “carrier running” and the “pursuit of status symbols”. It was therefore also acceptable not to pursuit an academic carrier but to become an apprentice instead. This is not in the same way the case to day. On the other hand it has now become highly acceptable to prefer a creative and artistic education to an academic.
The educational planners have in the different reforms of the VET-system sought to encounter the fact, that the choice of an apprenticeship is no longer perceived as natural and unquestionable a choice for the majority of the youth, as it was the case in the 1950’ies. To compensate for these tendencies the educational planners in the 1970’ies intended to make the VET-system more attractive for groups of youth could be inclined to attend high school. This strategy was, as we have seen no success. With the reform of 2000 the VET-system was sought adjusted to the demands of the youth by making the VET-system more flexible and by implementing teaching methods oriented toward individual needs and wishes of the individual student. Nor this strategy was a success. On the contrary it seems that it is precisely the peculiarities of the VET-system and the fact that it is rooted in a craftsman tradition which makes for example the cabinet maker craft an attractive alternative to the high school. The attractiveness seems to lay exactly in the fact, that the VET-system represents a negation of the tradition which the high school system is part of and at a positive alternative to this tradition by representing a practical and holistic tradition.

Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)




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in Danish frontpage Nyt om arbejdsliv
editor Jørgen Burchardt