This paper questions the link that policymakers assume exists between qualifications and access to employment in the C&C sector. It first identifies how labour market conditions in the C&C sector do not reflect the prevailing conventional wisdom that qualifications are the “magic bullet‟ for securing employment. Secondly, it demonstrates how the dynamics of policy formation in the UK impose a straitjacket on the education and training (E&T) system thereby denying E&T agencies the autonomy to intervene to assist people post–qualification to gain access to the sector. Thirdly, it identifies the way that non–government agencies – “intermediary organisations‟ – address this problem by providing new spaces and pedagogies to assist aspiring entrants to develop the requisite form of “vocational practice‟ and “social capital‟ to enter the sector. The paper concludes that, if the government wants the C&C sector to realize the aforementioned economic and social goals, it will have to foster more “heterarchical‟ governance cultures to support demand–and–supply side E&T partners to work together to develop innovative strategies to enhance entry routes into the C&C sector.
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