Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Continuous Vocational Education of Employees in Conditions of Knowledge Economy: European Trends and Prospects of Ukraine

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Continuous Vocational Education of Employees in Conditions of Knowledge Economy: European Trends and Prospects of Ukraine

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

One of the major current trends in the countries of the world is the development of new types of economies-knowledge-based economies. By definition of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 1996) under such economies are understood "economies which are directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information". Production of knowledge plays a significant role in the given definition of the knowledge economy. There are other opinions on the nature of the knowledge economy. For example, Holubkin (2006) defines the knowledge economy as the stage of economic development which is characterized by the fact that knowledge and skills of employees, as well as those opportunities of organisations that are formed on their basis, play the most important role in the production and distribution.

As it was mentioned by Department of Trade & Industry of Great Britain (1998) "the knowledge driven economy is not simply about strengthening the science base and raising the education and skill levels of the workforce. These objectives are vitally important and central to government policy. But success in the knowledge driven economy requires a shift in the business mind set: greater receptiveness to know-how and the ability to see its commercial potential; eagerness to keep on learning at all levels in a business; and flair in spotting new customer needs and fresh business opportunities". This definition emphasizes the important role of business in creating a knowledge economy. It is noted that the main driving force of economic development based on knowledge is a skilled labour force. That is the level of education and professionalism of modern workers depends largely on the effectiveness of creation of new innovative knowledge and their practical implementation in the activity of economic entities. This, in its turn, forms the basis for the economic effects at all levels-not only at the level of individual enterprise but also at the level of the industry and the country as a whole.

The general level of education of population and continuous adult education is important for the formation of the social context of positive attitude to the role of education in social and economic development of the country. However, considering the connection of education with the country's competitiveness in the global space, it is advisable to pay special attention to the continuous vocational education and training (VET) of employees of enterprises as the main economic actors. The problems of improvement of vocational education were studied by such modern Ukrainian scientists as Beztelesna (2012), Hnibidenko (2008), Makarova (2014), Savchenko (2012). Various aspects of vocational education of adults and lifelong learning were considered in the works of the researchers Boutsiouki (2014); Buiskool, Van Lakerveld and Broek (2009); Chirkina (2015); Figel (2009); Mulder, Weigel and Collins (2007). The works of Buckman (2004); Garvin (2003); Huber (1991); Senge, Lucas and Smith (2000); Tsang (1997) deserve special attention because they reveal the content and peculiarities of organisational learning which is the key component of the lifelong learning.

The purpose of the paper is detection of the peculiarities of vocational education in the EU Member States and Ukraine and development of recommendations for continuous vocational training of employees in the conditions of knowledge economy.

2. Material Studied and Methods

Ukraine has chosen the European vector of development. And the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union was signed. It is advisable to pay special attention to the comparative analysis of the condition of the knowledge economy in Ukraine and EU Member States, as well as determining the peculiarities of organisation of vocational training of employees in this context. Information basis for the study was made with the statistical reporting data on VET of such international resources as Eurostat, Eurofound, CEDEFOP, UNESCO and others. …

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