Beyond ‘Migration’ and ‘Inclusion’ in Work-Life: racialisation and VET

James Avis, Kevin Orr, Paul Warmington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The salience of the fourth industrial revolution and its associated rhetoric is that it, in part, posits a future of worklessness set alongside a demand for highly skilled, innovative and creative workers. In this paper the social justice implications of our analysis are explored in relation to race, ethnicity and the experiences of students of colour in VET.
An analysis of discourses of race and migration is placed alongside an analysis of VET, its relationship to waged labour the reproduction of inequalities, and the potential contributions VET could make to wider society as it undergoes revolutions in industry, technology and social justice. The analysis relates English experiences of race/ethnicity in VET to broader European and Nordic experiences.
In particular, we interrogate tendencies to conflate race with migration and the effects that viewing communities of colour as ‘migrant’ communities has on sociological understandings of the structuring of multiracial societies. English experiences illustrate a particular trajectory of migration, permanent settlement and race.
The social justice implications of our argument suggest that if we wish to go beyond migration and inclusion in work-life we need to refuse such notions and need to adopt an expanded conceptualisation of work-life. Such a conceptualisation would recognise the salience of ‘really useful’ labour/work that contributes to societal well-being. VET could address this but would
need to move beyond its traditional remit of serving capitalism in the production of surplus value.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration and Inclusion in Work Life
Subtitle of host publicationthe role of VET
EditorsLázaro Moreno Herrera, Marianne Teräs, Petros Gougoulakis, Janne Kontio
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherAtlas Akademi
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9789174450231
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2022

Publication series

NameEmerging Issues in Research on Vocational Education & Training
PublisherVETYL (Vocational Education & Training/Yrkeskunnande och Lärande)


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