Varieties of Competence: European Perspectives

Jonathan Winterton

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

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper attempts to offer a synthetic overview of the history and geography of competence, tracing its conceptual provenance, contrasting the main competence models and explaining European diversity by differences in labour market regulatory mechanisms and training regimes.1 Major critiques of competence-based approaches are also discussed. In the second part of the paper, competence is considered as a policy imperative in the adoption of competence-based vocational education and training (VET) and outcome-based higher education (HE). The position of supra-state organizations like the International Labour Office (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is addressed before analysing European level policy developments. The concluding part of the paper considers competence in practice and assesses the limitations imposed by continuing differences in national competence models and inconsistencies in European policy instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Vocational Education and Training in a Changing World
EditorsMatthias Pilz
Place of PublicationGermany
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783531187570
ISBN (Print)9783531185279
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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