Assess the benefits and limitations of the 'new vocationalism'
New vocalionalism, also known as vocational education/training, is an educational process relevant to a particular job or career, usually non-academical and and based on practical activities. This kind of education is also called technical. Up until the end of the twentieth century, vocational education focused on specific trades such as for example, an automobile mechanic or welder, and was therefore associated with the activities of lower social classes. (source)
Many people argue whether new vocationalism is a legitimate response to the needs of a modern economy or it is an attempt to recreate a compliant working class.
Theorists in vocational training have emphasized that its aim is to improve the worker's general culture as well as to further his or her technical training. That policy is evident in the academic requirements of public vocational schools and in the work of public continuation and evening schools. Various academic courses are provided so that workers who have not completed the public school requirements may do so while engaged in regular jobs. In some localities attendance at continuation schools is compulsory for those who are of school age. While continuation and evening schools are often primarily vocational, they frequently include general courses that attract older workers. (source)
Despite all this, it may mean that people, who are involved in new vocationalism education, may become docile and accept low wages, bad working conditions and, in fact, being exploited. That's why the majority prefers usual education and a degree achievemnt, as they think that vocational education is for those, who are not bright enough to use their brains and are able only for hard production work.
Children from working class families or low-income families are more likely to have such an education simply because their parents have it. They see it as an obvious solution, as these colleges are not as expensive as universities and give them opportunity to start working earlier and have experience.
New vocationalism was extremely popular at the times of the industrialised society, however, changes have come. Nowadays more people doubt about the importance of new vocationalism: with technologies being developed really fast, such profeccionals are demanded less and, therefore, are paid less. However, it's too early to discuss the possibility of the disappearence of new vocationalism and for many people this type of education is the only way to avoid poverty.
Further reading: How Global Market Forces Drive the New Vocationalism