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Mismatched perceptions and expectations: An exploration of stakeholders' views of key and technical skills in vocational education and training

Saunders, Mark, Skinner, D and Beresford, R (2005) Mismatched perceptions and expectations: An exploration of stakeholders' views of key and technical skills in vocational education and training Journal of European Industrial Training, 29 (5). pp. 369-382.

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To explore potential mismatches between stakeholders' perceptions and expectations of key and technical skills needed for an advanced modern apprentice within the UK.


Using data collected from the automotive sector, the template process is used to establish lecturer, student and employee stakeholder group's expectations of a person taking up employment alongside an advanced modern apprenticeship or as an advanced modern apprentice. Perceptions of the extent to which expectations are met and their relative importance are assessed.


All stakeholders acknowledge that a skills gap exists across key and technical skills. However, whilst students focus on technical skills, lecturers and employees place greatest emphasis on key skills and their ability to transfer them.

Research limitations/implications

Although this research is based on the UK automotive sector, the findings emphasise the importance of key skills and understanding as part of students' learning. Research is needed to establish why students appear to undervalue these and establish whether similar patterns exist in other sectors.

Practical implications

The voluntarist approach to UK vocational education and training has, when combined with the need for further education colleges to be economically viable, resulted in courses that appear attractive but do not always meet the automotive sector's needs. Research is needed to establish whether this is occurring across other sectors.


This template process offers a new technique to explore stakeholders' perceptions and expectations. The findings provide new insights into the mismatches between expectations of the stakeholders in vocational education and training.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Skinner, D
Beresford, R
Date : 2005
DOI : 10.1108/03090590510603414
Copyright Disclaimer : © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2005. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Depositing User : Maria Rodriguez-Marquez
Date Deposited : 23 Jul 2013 13:36
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:12

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