Vocational education and training (VET) career pathways for school students living with disability: Working with employers
Research has shown that employers and industry are key partners in work-based learning and can hinder or enhance access to vocational education training (VET). Our capabilities approach focus concerns increasing employer understanding of what is involved in engaging in the work-based component of school-based VET for students with disability. It seeks to identify enhancers and barriers to both employer and student participation in work-based learning in workplaces and strategies to address the barriers. Using a qualitative approach, this interpretive research aims to answer the following principal question: How can employers, students, teachers and other influencers of student education and career pathway choice work together to increase opportunities for successful participation of students with disability in the work-based component of school-based VET? Employers and staff at organisations that support/place school-based VET students with disabilities were interviewed and inductive content analysis was used to code interview transcripts. Findings indicate that while communication and relationships are key factors in ensuring successful work-based learning placements, lack of understanding related to the spectrum of disability can be a barrier. Interview participants also identified workplace and policy barriers. Addressing the implications of our research findings will assist in increasing the willingness of employers to engage in work-based learning for school VET students with disability. This shift in practise has the potential to develop the workforce of the region and create greater breadth of opportunities for work-based learning in the community for school VET students with disability, leading to improved employment outcomes for people with disability.
Publication titleThe Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability
Department/SchoolOceans and Cryosphere, TIA - Research Institute, Education