50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue by Rick Holden

By Rick Holden

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Many industry areas that had no, or few, apprentices now have large numbers of trainees: for example, retail (33,000 commencements in 2005), meat processing (8,000), community services (13,200), transport (16,500), and asset maintenance (mainly cleaning) (5,900) (National Centre for Vocational Education Research, 2006). The large numbers in retail, community services and cleaning represent areas of work always dominated by women (Pocock, 1988) – and also by migrant workers. It is small wonder that traditional men’s trades are fighting back.

Even in the late 1980s when I arrived, it was unusual for women to hold down full-time work while their children were small. In the past 20 years, advances have been made in child-care arrangements, subsidies and attitudes that make women’s access to work much more straightforward, although still not uncomplicated. A woman without a job in 2008 is much more likely to be regarded as disadvantaged than one with a job. Education þ Training Vol. 50 No. 1, 2008 pp. 1108/00400910810855487 ET 50,1 44 But what has this to do with Education þ Training?

What are their limitations and how could they be modified to be of value in giving educational guidance at technical college enrolment stage? (2) How far are technical teachers trained to interpret school records and to make sensible decisions from them? Should all technical teachers be trained for this work or should there be one specialist in each technical college department? Is it Research in technical colleges 33 ET 50,1 34 reasonable to expect a part-time teacher to give any useful educational guidance whatsoever to the large numbers enrolling in part-time courses?

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50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue by Rick Holden
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