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Employability in the Knowledge Economy: Living the Fulfilled Life or Policy Chimera?

Date: 17 May 2006 Time: 3.30-5.00pm

Anthony Hesketh

Employability in the Knowledge Economy: Living the Fulfilled Life or Policy Chimera?

Venue: County South B45

All welcome, please let Ann-Marie Houghton know if you are planning to attend or to send apologies

AbstractThis paper examines the processes through which the obligation of continued individual development—captured by the notion of 'employability'—is being increasingly rearticulated and transmogrified by policy makers in both the UK and US as a means through which individual and social (economic) fulfilment can be obtained. It suggests that, for all the celebratory discourse which surrounds the notion of employability, the concept itself represents little more than a policy chimera: a thinly veiled attempt to relocate the responsibility for lifelong and economically relevant learning at the door of the workforce itself, whilst at the same time naturalizing the social, cultural and economic factors which either facilitate or preclude differential access to learning inside organizations. The paper concludes with the suggestion that employability is better understood in terms of its capacity for offering an individual with a self-defence mechanism within a volatile labour market as opposed to a new mantra for how we should work and live.

Event website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/edres/news.htm

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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