The paper addresses a number of issues concerning policy and curriculum in post-compulsory education and training (PCET). Firstly, it seeks to locate PCET within its socio-economic context as it is this that frames curricula within the learning and skills sector and serves to legitimate its particular form. Secondly, the paper addresses the manner in which state policy impacts upon the sector and is followed by a discussion of curricula issues. It is argued that the rhetoric of competitiveness is over-stated and that this serves to tie educational processes to economic needs. This is reflected in curricular divisions as well as differentiations between learners. These, rather than challenging existing social relations, serve to conserve these resulting in a 'transformist' politics. The paper concludes with a section that explores the struggle for social justice, arguing that a radical educational politics needs to address inequalities endemic in wider society. Localized educational responses are limited and can only take us so far in the struggle for social justice.