Article | European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults | Adult learning, education, and the labour market in the employability regime

Title:
Adult learning, education, and the labour market in the employability regime
Author:
Staffan Nilsson: Linköping University, Sweden Sofia Nyström: Linköping University, Sweden
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9007
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2013
Volume:
4
Issue:
2
Pages:
171-187
No. of pages:
17
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2013-10-03


The purpose of this paper is to draw on the research and scholarly literature to explore the changing discourses and perspectives concerning adult learning, education, and the labour market in the employability regime. The focus of the nalysis is a Nordic context. The dominant employability regime maintains a technical-rational perspective on learning and employability. Education is predominantly regarded as an instrumental preparation for the labour market. The future demands of the labour market are largely unknown, however, and vocational and professional training may not provide sufficient preparation for the increasing complexities of work. Theoretical discussions have been dominated by an alleged mismatch between individual competence and the qualifications that are required in the world of work. There is no consensus regarding how the gap should be described, explained, or bridged. New demands on educational design have emerged, and ideas related to liberal education and ‘bildung’ have been reinserted into the political agenda, offering general preparation for a wider array of challenges.

Keywords: Adult education; Nordic welfare regime; employability; competence; labour market

Volume 4, Issue: 2, Article 6, 2013

Author:
Staffan Nilsson, Sofia Nyström
Title:
Adult learning, education, and the labour market in the employability regime:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9007
References:
  • Baker, D. P. (2009). The educational transformation of work: towards a new synthesis. Journal of Education and Work, 22(3), 163-191.doi:10.1080/13639080902957822
  • Beck, U. (2008). Brave new world of work. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Becker, G. S. (1964). Human Capital: A theoretical analysis with special reference to education. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  • Behrenz, L. (2001). Who Gets the Jobs and Why? An Explorative Study of Employers’ Recruitment Behavior. Journal of Applied Economics, 4(2), 255–278.
  • Biesta, G. (2009). Good education in an age of measurement: on the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 33–46. doi: 10.1007/s11092-008-9064-9
  • Billett, S. (2011). Vocational education. London: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-1954-5
  • Bourdieu, P. (1977). Cultural reproduction and social reproduction. In J. Karabel & A. G. Halsey (Eds.), Power and Ideology in Education (pp. 487–511). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Bowden, J. A., & Marton, F. (2004). The University of Learning: beyond quality and competence. London: Routledge Falmer.
  • Bron, A., & Schemmann, M. (2003). Knowledge Society, Information Society and Adult Education. Münster: Lit verlag.
  • Brown, P. (2003). The Opportunity Trap: Education and Employment in a Global Economy. European Educational Research Journal, 2(1), 142–80. doi: 10.2304/eerj.2003.2.1.4
  • Brown, P., & Hesketh, A. (2004). The Mismanagement of Talent: Employability and Jobs in the Knowledge Economy. King’s Lynn: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269532.001.0001
  • Brown, P., Hesketh, A., & Williams, S. (2003). Employability in a Knowledge-driven Economy. Journal of Education and Work, 16(2), 107–126. doi: 10.1080/1363908032000070648
  • Brown, P., & Tannock, S. (2009). Education, meritocracy and the global war for talent. Journal of Education Policy, 24(4), 377–392. doi: 10.1080/02680930802669938
  • Clarke, M. (2008). Understanding and managing employability in changing career contexts. Journal of European Industrial Training, 32(4), 258–284. doi: 10.1108/03090590810871379
  • Collins, R. (1979). The Credential Society: An historical sociology of education and stratification. New York, NY: Academic Press.
  • Dafou, E. (2009). Qualification and skills: the organizational perspective. Journal of Education and Work, 22(2), 91–104. doi: 10.1080/13639080902854003
  • Defillippi, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1994). The boundaryless career: a competency-based perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15(4), 307–324. doi: 10.1002/job.4030150403
  • Esping Andersen, G. (1990). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • European Commission. (2010). Employment in Europe 2010. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
  • Filander, K. (2012). Discursive turns from ‘Bildung’ to managerialism: Memory-work of the Finnish adult education generations. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 3(2), 135–153. doi: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela0073
  • Garsten, C., & Jacobsson, K. (2004). Learning to be employable: new agendas on work, responsibility and learning in globalizing world. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Gaskell, J., & Rubenson, K. (2004). Educational outcomes for the Canadian workplace: new frameworks for policy and research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Gustavsson, B. (2013). The idea of democratic ‘bildung’: Its transformation in space and time. In A.-M. Laginder, H. Nordvall & J. Crowther (Eds.). Popular education, power and democracy (pp. 35–49). Leicester: NIACE.
  • Hansman, C., & Mott, V. (2010). Adult learners. In C. E. Kasworm, A. Rose & J. Ross-Gordon (Eds), Handbook of adult and continuing education (pp. 1–12). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Harvey, L. (2005). Embedding and integrating employability. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2005(128), 13–28. doi: 10.1002/ir.160
  • Helms Jørgensen, C. (2004). Connecting work and education: should learning be useful, correct or meaningful? The Journal of Workplace Learning, 16(8), 455–465. doi: 10.1108/13665620410566423
  • Hesketh, A. (2000). Recruiting an elite? Employers’ perceptions of graduate employment and training. Journal of Education and Work, 13(3), 245–271. doi: 10.1080/713676992
  • Hillage, J., & Pollard, E. (1998). Employability: Developing a framework for policy analysis. London: Department for Education and Employment.
  • ILO (International Labour Organisation). (2000). Training for employment: social inclusion, productivity and youth employment (Report No. 5). Geneva: International Labour Office.
  • Kariya, T. (2009). From Credential Society to ‘Learning Capital’ Society. In H. Ishida & D. H., Slater (Eds.). Social Class in Contemporary Japan: structures, sorting and strategies (pp. 87–113). London: Routledge.
  • Keep, E., & James, S. (2010). Recruitment and selection – the great neglected topic. Cardiff University& University of Oxford.
  • Knight, P. T., & Yorke, M. (2004). Learning, Curriculum and Employability in Higher Education. London: Routledge.
  • Kossek, E. (2000). Learning from the working poor and welfare reform: Paradoxes in promoting employability. In C. Leana & D. Rousseau (Eds.), Relational Wealth: The Advantages of Stability in a Changing Economy (pp. 183–98). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Köpsén, S., & Nyström, S. (2012). Learning in practice for becoming a forensic expert. Forensic Science International, 222(1–3), 208–215. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.05.026
  • Labriola, K. (2008). Conceptual framework of sickness absence and return to work, focusing on both the individual and the contextual level. WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 30(4), 377–387.
  • Laginder, A.-M., Nordvall, H., & Crowther, J. (2013). Introduction. In A.-M. Laginder, H. Nordvall & J. Crowther (Eds.). Popular education, power and democracy (pp. 3–13). Leicester: NIACE.
  • Liedman, S.-E. (2002). Ett oändligt äventyr: om människans kunskaper. Stockholm: Bonniers.
  • Livingstone, D. W. (2010). Job requirements and workers’ learning: formal gaps, informal closure, systemic limits. Journal of Education and Work, 23(3), 207–231. doi: 10.1080/13639081003785732
  • McArdle, S., Waters, L., Briscoe, J. P., & Hall, D. T. (2007). Employability during unemployment: adaptability, career identity and human and social capital. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 71(2), 247–264. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2007.06.003
  • McQuaid, R. W., & Lindsay, C. (2005). The Concept of Employability. Urban Studies, 42(2): 197–219. doi: 10.1080/0042098042000316100
  • Merriam, S. B., & Brockett, R. (2007). The profession and practice of adult education: An introduction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Moreau, M. P., & Leathwood, C. (2006). Graduates’ employment and the discourse of employability: a critical analysis. Journal of Education and Work, 19(4), 305–324. doi: 10.1080/13639080600867083
  • Mustel, A. (2004). Folkbildningens insatser för unga arbetslösa. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://www.folkbildning.se//Documents/B_Rapporter/ungaarbetslosa.pdf
  • Nilsson, S. (2010a). Enhancing Individual Employability: the perspective of engineering graduates. Education + Training, 52(6/7), 540–551. doi: 10.1108/00400911011068487
  • Nilsson, S. (2010b). On the Meaning of Higher Education in Professional Practice: the case of physicians and engineers. Journal of Education and Work, 23(3), 255–274. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2010.486397
  • Nilsson, S., & Ekberg, K. (2012). Employability, work ability, health, and employment: Returning to the labour market after long-term sick leave. WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment& Rehabilitation, 44(4), 449–457. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-1402
  • Nilsson, S., & Ellström, P. E. (2012). Employability and Talent Management: Challenges for HRD practices. European Journal of Training and Development, 36(1), 26–45. doi: 10.1108/03090591211192610
  • Nyström, S. (2009). The dynamics of professional identity formation: Graduates’ transition from higher education to working life. Vocations and Learning, 2(1), 1–18. doi: 10.1007/s12186-008-9014-1
  • Nyström, S. (2010). Graduates ‘doing gender’ as early career professionals. Career Development International, 15(4), 24–337. doi: 10.1108/13620431011066222
  • Nyström, S., Dahlgren, M. A., & Dahlgren, L. O. (2008). A winding road - professional trajectories from higher education to working life: a case study of political science and psychology graduates. Studies in Continuing Education, 30(3), 215–229. doi: 10.1080/01580370802439896
  • OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). (1998). Human Capital Investment: An International Comparison. Paris: Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
  • Pang, M., Chua, B. L., & Chu, C. W. L. (2008). Learning to stay ahead in an uncertain environment. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(7), 1383–1394. doi: 10.1080/09585190802110307
  • Pool, L. D., & Sewell, P. (2007). The key to employability: developing a practical model of graduate employability. Education + Training, 49(4), 277–289. doi: 10.1108/00400910710754435
  • Rees G., Fevre, R., Furlong J., & Gorard S. (2006). History, Biography and Place in the Learning Society: Towards a Sociology of Lifelong Learning. In. H. Lauder, P. Brown, J. Dillabough & A. H. Halsey A. H. (Eds.). Education, Globalization and Social Change (pp. 926-935). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rubenson, K. (2006a). Adult education and Cohesion. In H. Lauder, P. Brown, J.-O. Dillabough & A. H. Halsey (Eds.). In. Education, Globalization & Social Change (pp. 936–946). Gosport: Oxford University Press.
  • Rubenson, K. (2006b). The Nordic model of lifelong learning. In. Compare, 36(3), 327–341. doi: 10.1080/03057920600872472
  • Rubenson, K. (2013). Toward lifelong learning for all in Europe: Understanding the fundamental role of popular education could play in the European Commission’s strategy. In A.-M. Laginder, H. Nordvall., & J. Crowther (Eds.). In. Popular education, power and democracy (pp. 14–34). Leicester: NIACE.
  • Rubenson, K., & Desjardins, R. (2009). The impact of welfare state regimes on barriers to participation in adult education: A bounded agency model. In. Adult Education Quarterly, 59(3), 187–207. doi: 10.1177/0741713609331548
  • Sennett, R. (1998). The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
  • Smith, V. (2010). Review article: Enhancing employability: Human, cultural, and social capital in an era of turbulent unpredictability. In. Human Relations, 63(2), 279–300. doi: 10.1177/0018726709353639
  • Statistics Sweden. (2010). Theme: Labour market 2010:4 Substitution on the labour market - a report on occupations by education. Stockholm: Statistics Sweden.
  • Streeck, W. (2012). Skills and politics: General and specific. In M. R. Busemeyer & C. Trampusch (Eds.). In. The political economy of collective skills formation (pp. 317–352). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Teichler, U. (2000). Research on the relationships between higher education and the world of work: Past achievements, problems and new challenges. In. Higher Education Policy, 38(2), 169–190. doi: 10.1023/A:1003761214250
  • Tomlinson, M. (2008). ‘The degree is not enough’: students’ perceptions of the role of higher education credentials for graduate work and employability. In. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(1), 49–61. doi: 10.1080/01425690701737457
  • van der Heijde, C. M., & van der Heijden, B. I. J. M. (2006). A competence-based and multidimensional operationalization and measurement of employability. In. Human Resource Management, 45(3), 449–476. doi: 10.1002/hrm.20119
  • Wolf, A. (2002). Does Education Matter? Myths about education and economic growth. London: Penguin Books.
  • Young, M. (2009). Education, globalisation and the ‘voice of knowledge’. In. Journal of Education and Work, 22(3), 193–204. doi: 10.1080/13639080902957848

Volume 4, Issue: 2, Article 6, 2013

Author:
Staffan Nilsson, Sofia Nyström
Title:
Adult learning, education, and the labour market in the employability regime:
DOI:
10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9007
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Mary Genevieve Billington, Kari Nissine & Egil Gabrielsen (2017). When Investment in Basic Skills Gives Negative Returns. Adult Education Quarterly, 67(2): 136. DOI: 10.1177/0741713617692413
  • Borut Mikule & Sabina Jelenc KraĊĦovec (2016). Marketising Slovene adult education policies and practices using mechanisms of the Europeanisation of education. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 7(2): 151. DOI: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9081
  • Export in BibTex, RIS or text