The recognition that workplaces are learning environments has become widespread in both research and policy circles, but workplace learning is often absent from debates about lifelong learning. Similarly, vocational education and training (VET) is also referred to as a separate phenomenon, and, curiously, can even become separated from debates about workplace learning. In the United Kingdom (UK) this separation is partly a result of the long-standing distinction between ‘education’ and ‘training’, between the ‘vocational’ and the ‘professional’, and the continued influence of the academic-vocational divide. It also tends to place young people (teenagers) in separate boxes to adults. All too often, VET is reduced to an umbrella phrase for government-funded training schemes.
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