Regulation of Vocational Education and Training Fields in Northern Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Hodgkins, Andrew, P
  • This dissertation examines vocational education and training (VET) partnership programs designed to increase aboriginal participation in the skilled trades. Pre-apprenticeship training programs were examined in two regions: the Beaufort Delta of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo located in north eastern Alberta. Program sponsorship varied: the territorial program was federally-funded, while the provincial program was primarily funded by a mine. Drawing from a multiple case site methodology, both programs were examined over the course of a year when participants were in class (fall, 2010) and afterwards (spring 2011) when programs had ended. During both phases of the research interviews with program participants (n = 20) and program partners (n = 24) were conducted. The theoretical framework developed in this inquiry nests social theories of Pierre Bourdieu within late capitalism. Bourdieu’s concept of the field, capital, and habitus respectively elucidate the social relations, asset structures, and dispositions of program partners and participants. Findings indicate that training partnerships are brokered on contested fields involving asymmetrical power relations occurring between different partners. VET programs that are demand-driven and have a committed employment partner are more likely to lead to successful learning-to-work transitions than programs where goals and commitments are less clearly defined. Socialisation of program participants is impacted by the economic relationship characterising each region. While there have been ample studies conducted in northern Canada concerning the socioeconomic impacts of resource extractive economic developments, there remains a dearth of research examining education, training, and employment initiatives that specifically target aboriginal people. This research will be of particular use to policy makers who are interested in improving training policy and practice. The research also provides insight into the shifting nature of aboriginal-industry-state relations occurring within a postFordist regime of capital accumulation. Recommendations include improving governance structures to over-see partnership programs, as well as ensuring stable and predictable funding regimes are in place.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Theoretical, Cultural and International Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mark Nuttall (Anthropology)
    • Ian Urquhart (Political Science)
    • Frances Abele (School of Public Policy, Carelton University)
    • Jerry Kachur (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Ali Abdi (Educational Policy Studies)