Labouring at School: Work-Experience in the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative

Chris Shilling

First Published March 1, 1991

The Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) is a four year programme of study for 14-18 year olds which aims to provide vocational and general education broadly related to employment trends. It was announced by the Prime Minister in 1982 and in 1986 the government signalled its intention to extend TVEI to all local education authorities (LEAs) in England and Wales. Although it is not yet clear how much of TVEI will be retained within or alongside the National Curriculum, elements of the Initiative will undoubtedly affect the future education of school students. The central curricular feature of TVEI has been work-experience and in 1988 the Department of Education and Science (DES) announced that this activity was to be extended to all secondary students in England and Wales. This paper analyses the recent development of work-experience, locates it within broader shifts which have taken place in the school-society relationship and uses data from eight LEAs to examine its organization and effects on participating students.

Read full paper