past fifteen years, vocational and professional training have increasingly
come to be seen as a panacea for the social dislocations arising out of
the profound restructuring of the Canadian world of work. Fifteen years
into our Third Industrial Revolution however, and on the eve of the transfer
of training to the provinces, it has become increasingly difficult to discern
the outlines of a national training policy, or even a national training
vision. More troubling still, we are unsure how well our approach to training
will respond to the high, long-term, unemployment and underemployment as
well as the spread of precarious employment which we now understand to
be the defining features of the new work order. More than ever, the question
of "training for what?" is posed with the insistence and poignancy. A training
vision may not guarantee the future, but the absence of it will certainly
mortgage the future.
project, Training Matters: The Labour Education and Training Research Network,
is an attempt to bridge the two traditional solitudes in the world of training:
between training practitioners and training academies, and between French
and English language research. We have brought together academics from
14 universities and 5 community colleges, and practitioners from 20 organisations.
Within Canada, our members are from British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario,
the Yukon, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We
have also joined with researchers in Europe and Australia, and have made
arrangements to have our research published in their countries.