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    The Butterfly Effect: The recommodification of labour and implications for further education and training.

    Bohan, Virginia (2013) The Butterfly Effect: The recommodification of labour and implications for further education and training. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This is an extraordinary period in Adult Education. This statement could equally have applied in 2000 when the White Paper on Adult Education, “Learning for Life” (DES 2000), was published. However, this is an extraordinary time for very different reasons. In 2011 the government announced plans for the establishment of SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority. Allied to this change the VEC sector, the traditional home of adult education, is also changing. Sixteen Education and Training Boards are being established from an aggregation of the existing thirty-three VECs. FÁS, the State Employment and Training Agency, has already undergone significant readjustment with community and employment services and staff transferred to the Department of Social Protection in 2012 to provide an enhanced employment and entitlements Service – Intreo. Of the remaining FÁS staff, training services will transfer to the Education and Training Boards over the next few months, leaving approximately 200 staff, who will form part of SOLAS. This research looks at the impact of these institutional changes on the adult education sector and asks, what are the implications of these changes on future provision? It looks at this through the lens of a skills and activation discourse which suggests that the provision of education and training is dictated by the needs and requirements of the labour market. These changes represent a move towards increased neo-liberalism in adult education, both by locating the sector clearly within a skills discourse which is dictated by the needs of the market, and also by extending the use of private provision within what is now referred to as the further education and training sector. Using a qualitative analysis, this research draws on the lifeworld of Adult Education Officers to look at the changing architecture and implications of these changes. The union of education and training is presented as desirable and necessary to ensure a more efficient and effective service in these difficult economic times. The maxim of neo-liberalism ‘There Is No Alternative’ is used to justify the introduction of a range of ‘necessary measures’. I suggest in this research that a deeper interrogation of influencing factors needs to be considered. v From a theoretical perspective this research looks at decommodifying effects of traditional welfare state provision and suggests that there is clear evidence of a move towards recommodification of labour by reducing the level of guaranteed supports to protect labour from the vagrancies of an increasingly unprotected, non-regularised and mobile economic market. This recommodification is supported by a changing discourse in education. It is the language of skills and activation which permeate our policy statements, a far cry from the White Paper (DES 2000). The social citizen becomes the economic entity.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.; recommodification of labour; education; training;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9663
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 12:20
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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