Vocational education involves work-related study. Learners acquire job-specific knowledge and skills usually on the job or in work-like situations.
From a functionalist perspective, vocational education and training teaches individuals the specialist skills they need to perform their role in the division of labour, and meet society's economic needs.
However, there is concern that the British education system has lost touch with the economy. In 1976, Labour Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, initiated a 'Great Debate' on the role of education. He argued that Britain faced a 'skills crisis', whereby pupils were leaving school unemployable because they lacekd the knowledge and skills needed for Britain to compete in the global economy.
In this view - known as 'new vocationalism' - the main function of education is to provide the economy with a skilled workforce. This has…