European Employment System vs. International Employment System
The system of employment in Europe emerged in the early 1990s after the collapse of the social system in Europe. There was increased unemployment with many states being under great pressure to improve economic conditions. The pressure was increasing in the field of employment.
The social model of Europe was under threat with many people acknowledging that there was need for something to be done. The tasks to be done were many and they included intolerable levels of unemployment, restructuring of employment relations and systems of welfare. This required making of many internal changes and external shocks.
The employment system in EU was linked to the harmonization of soft laws that link the local levels to EU national levels. The model is open and general and calls for the use of other domains in policies to formulate policies while at the same time improving employment situation in Europe.
The European employment policy therefore seeks to meet the needs of individual states that form members of the EU while at the same time meeting objectives of a single European Union. A single market was created with wages and mobility of labor being made easy therefore increasing.
EU Vocational Education and Training Systems (VET)
EU regards education as an important factor for economies within the region. Therefore, countries within the region began establishing important education policies since the year 2000 in which the Lisbon education strategy was adopted. The education program aimed at increasing the number of jobs thereby reducing unemployment in Europe.
Through education, EU realized that it was the best asset as the accumulated knowledge could enhance creativity and innovation. The objectives of the education policy in EU are many and include making a reality the learning and mobility, improving quality and efficiency of learning in EU and promote equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.
Moreover, the policy enhances increased creativity and innovation within the region through its training programs. The major policies for education in EU include the policy for high school education, vocational and education and training and adult education.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
The EU established this policy as an important factor in preparing individuals for the current competitive global society and for ensuring that EU remains competitive in the global arena. The policy was formulated amidst many challenges such as increased global competition, unemployment few skilled employees in organizations among many other challenges.
VET activities aim at providing knowledge and expertise to individuals to increase their competencies that are vital in the labor industry. Consequently, they form a critical part of the 2020 program established by EU to meet certain development goals. “Strategies for lifelong learning and mobility are essential to promote employability, active citizenship, social inclusion and personal development” (Speake, 2007).
The programme involves teaching individuals practical skills useful in life and relevant to the job market. The VET programme is strengthened across Europe through EU member states in collaboration with the European commission.
As noted by EUBusiness (2010, p. 1), the VET was established in 2002 through the Copenhagen process with 33 EU members endorsing it. The program has been developed continuously with more modifications concerning the role of VET in communication being included in 2010. The 2010 initiatives cover several areas including mobility that enhances increased participation in the VET program, Training of trainers and recognition.
Features of VET
It is important that a positive learning experience results into benefits that span beyond income and employment to individuals. For this reason, VET has many benefits emanating from its many significant features.
Some of the vital features of the voluntary education and training are content learning, the impact created on skills and competencies, creation of relationships with other people, recognition of the achievement attained and progression in education. Lastly, the system enhances success in the labor market.
VET is provided in different forms such as IVET and CVET. Under CVET, the program provides a wide range of providers that offer different programmes, ethos and delivery modes. According to Tennant and Yates (2005, p. 215), IVET programs provide participants with many skills that focus on many aspects that are useful in daily life rather than the technical aspect alone.
The main objective of IVET is to focus on the outcomes of learning. In spite of this general objective, IVET focuses on national outcomes. For instance, the IVET programme focuses on social integration as an outcome in some countries and not others.
For example, England pursued inclusion of functional skills in the education system subjects such as English, mathematics and ICT in a new diploma certificate for children aged between 14 years to 19 years. Such a programme provides theoretical learning and practical experience.
However, in other countries such as Scotland, VET participants have to pass in skills that can provide them with employment while in Finland; citizenship is part of the Vet programme. VET programme in other countries such as Sweden and Finland is integrated into secondary school curricula.
Impact on Skills and Competencies
This is a vital feature as it is the objective of the VET content to influence the skills and capabilities of individuals. The VET programme aims at establishing whether the skills learnt could be reflected in economic and non-economic outcomes. The focus is on the outcomes in the labor market such as rates of return, prospects of employment with some social outcomes.
According to Tennant and Yates (2005, p.217), there is a significant positive relationship between upper secondary level learning in the U.K. and the confidence of learners, skills at workplace and personal development. In addition, indirect effects include motivation for higher learning, increased employability and career development.
Relationships with other Individuals
The major characteristic of VET is socialization rather than qualification as noted by Speake (2007, p. 45). Participants transmit dispositions and attitudes rather than giving knowledge and skills that are necessary for various activities.
Moreover, through the socialization process in learning institutions, there are many social networks created among learners, between learners and teachers, mentors and employers. In spite of the transmission of social networks and attitudes, VET does not reward the outcomes.
According to Rainbird (2010, p. 249), VET qualifications are taken as secondary qualification after academic qualifications in several European countries. Consequently, many researchers have been left with the question of increasing the parity of esteem between the two.
The European commission has made VET very attractive in order to gain esteem similar to general education. However, not much attention has been given to the programme in some EU countries such as England.
Comparative Education and Training System
While the EU has a unique education and training system, there is no uniform global education and training system. Different countries located in different locations have different education systems basing on the region. As compared to the EU’s VET program that has specific goals, the international education has no specific goals.
However, education systems of different countries have specific goals and objectives that aim at meeting the set national strategies. The global education system has no uniformity and there is no specific body established to check the uniformity of the systems except the United Nations.
The UN has specific guidelines to be followed by different countries while establishing their education policies. However, no uniformity has been achieved.
Comparatively, the international employment system focuses on a system that meets the global needs of employment. The system favors individual states with laws and regulations in place being rigid compared to those of the EU. The international system has focused so much on employee relations as explained in this next section.
Industrial relations research believes that employment markets are not completely aggressive and therefore, in comparison to conventional financial hypothesis, managers classically have better negotiation influence than workers.
Industrial relations studies also presume that there are at least a few intrinsic conflicts of interest between bosses and workers, for instance, advanced salary versus advanced proceeds and as a result, in comparison to research in human resource management and organizational behavior, conflict is perceived as an ordinary component of work association.
When employment markets are viewed as defective and when the labor associations consist of conflicts of interest, then one cannot depend on markets or administrators to serve employees’ welfare, and in great cases to stop employee mistreatment. The pluralist scholars view employment association as a range of collective welfare and conflicts of interests that are mainly restricted to the employment association.
In the place of work, pluralists consequently support injustice measures; workers’ influence mechanisms for example work committees and labor organizations, group negotiations, and labor-management enterprise. In the strategy dome, pluralists calls for income regulations, work-related healthiness and security principles, global labor standards, and other work and labor regulations and civil guidelines.
These institutional intercessions are all perceived as techniques of harmonizing employment associations to produce not only financial competence, but also worker fairness and influence (Foot & Ross 2004, p.35). In comparison, the Marxist motivated dangerous camp views company-worker conflicts of interest as stridently aggressive and severely entrenched in the socio-political-economic structure.
From this viewpoint, the search for an objective employment association provides too much power to company’s welfare, and as an alternative inherent structural restructuring are required to modify the stridently aggressive employment association that is inbuilt within private enterprise. Confrontational trade organizations are therefore often supported (Frenkel & Harrod 1995, p.25).
Sustainability of Business
Good industrial relations lead to enhanced effectiveness in an organization and further enabling success. An organization benefits from high turnover as well as other tangible benefits. Industrial relation has several benefits to an organization. It facilitates settlement of disputes peacefully through collective bargaining, reciprocated teamwork and mutual consensus.
This enables workers to air their grievances without necessarily interfering with the organization’s activities. Furthermore, the business is sustained through organizational democracy implying that every employee is given a chance to participate in decision-making. New ideas generated through group participation can be of great importance to the management of the organization.
Improved efficiency achieved through industrial relations facilitates economic growth and development hence contributing to advanced output. This will result in economic development of the economy. On the other hand, industrial relations develop self-esteem of the personnel.
Better relations achieved through reciprocated teamwork and general approved approach stimulates employees to offer their best thereby resulting to superior production and thus profits. Relating with the work force offers more work pleasure and assist in developing the confidence of the personnel.
Such relations guarantees optimal utilization of limited funds: no funds are wasted in procuring services or goods to be utilized in conflict resolution. The whole process is simplified by industrial relations. Workers are more willing and ready to offer their full knowledge since they have a sense of belongingness.
Reducing work risks and providing pleasant environment reduce industrial turbulence, injustices and clashes. This will guarantee proper utilization of funds and human resources in an organization.
Through interaction with the society, the organization benefits of good relations. The company’s image is developed since the population would have confidence as regards to the organizational goods and services. The business is sustained in the process. The products produced are not met with hostility. Again, a good relation with the government attracts more clients or customers to the business.
As a conclusion to this part, it is apparent that high-quality industrial relation is the foundation of advanced manufacturing with least expenditures and superior profits. It moreover leads to improved competence of employees. Quality new plans may perhaps be launched aiming at enhancing the interests of employees and advancing the self-esteem of the citizens at work.
A financial system targeting manufacturing and allocation, aspiring to realize societal integrity and wellbeing of the workers can operate successfully only in an environment of industrial tranquility. If double objectives of fast national growth and amplified social impartiality are to be realized, there ought to be harmonious association between the organization and labor (Clark, 2006).
Political ideology is comparatively a rationality of thoughts that present a foundation for structured political action, whether the achievement is projected to conserve, transform or topple the available system of power. According to Mannheim (1996), people’s ideas are fashioned by their material and social statuses.
Ideologies have a belief system that serves to preserve a certain collective order and articulate the welfare of the dominant group in the society. Weiler (2001) argued that the capitalistic structure is sustained not merely by the asymmetrical financial and political power but also by the hegemonic ideas of the bourgeoisie.
The ideas of the bourgeoisie reinstate other ideas and presumptions hence perpetuating or preserving the class system.
Sergent (2008) postulated that political ideology could be termed as a structure of values and beliefs pertaining to diverse institutions of society that are considered realistic by a section of the society. Ideologies exist to offer the believers with a portrait of humanity as it is and the way it should be. By doing this, ideologies organize the tremendous complexity of the world into something fairly simple and understandable.
Having lived in Britain during the industrial revolution, Marx and Engels (2008) identified that for the society to develop people must reproduce and produce as well. Political ideology comprises of several ideas of the elites who form the ruling class found in every society and in every epoch. The ruling class according to Marx controls both material and non-material factors of production.
According to White and Dash (2008), the class that is in a better position of controlling its overall productivity is better placed to control the mental and intellectual productivity of its members. Generally, the ideas of those who lack material are subject to those of the ruling class who utilize them for production and their own benefits.
Political ideology is about delusion and demystification because it perpetrates false or mistaken view of the world. On the contrary, political ideology is linked to the ruling system since the distortion implicated on the political ideology reflects the interest of the rulers. The ruling class does not recognize that it is an oppressor and therefore tries to reconcile with the oppressed.
Liberalism portrays the rights of people and yet the reality is that the rights can only be enjoyed by the propertied and privileged in the society. It naturally follows that political ideology is the manifestation of power that tends to conceal the contradictions of capitalism. Moreover, political ideology, according to Marx is temporary. When new ruling class takes over leadership, they introduce new ideologies.
Political ideology is not only confined to the ruling class but even the workers and the society as a whole has its political ideology. Political ideology is then surmised as the distinctive ideas of a particular social class that advances the interests of a certain social class regardless of the position of the class in the society.
Therefore, it is evident that all ideologies exist to serve particular purposes such as offering accounts to existing orders usually in form of worldviews. They also contribute to advancing some models in an attempt of configure a well-desired future or coming up with visions of good societies and finally, they strive to explain how political change can be and should be brought about.
Ideologies have always existed in the society. Before enlightenment age, there were communal based ideologies that were followed by slave modes and afterwards slave based ideologies that paved way for modern ideologies (such as capitalism and socialism).
The state is the biggest stakeholder in the contemporary civilization, regimes and managerial roles are always present in the daily life of individual. Various scholars and individuals contest over what could be the best policies to be applied in public administration.
The debate is mainly concerned about the middle path between individual thoughts and collective rights and responsibilities. The debate is so crucial in determining state functions and political culture. The ethos of EU constitutes various strains of ideologies, ranging from the respect of the state and the roles of governments.
On the precision of the political continuum in this state stands conservatism. This school of thought includes a set of thoughts that encourage the values of individuality, belief, freedom, contest, self-interests, clandestine possessions, and a communal order based on esteem for the precedent, personality liberty and liability, liberated venture and pro-business financial environment.
Essential to contemporary traditionalist thought is individualism. The creature is professed as the basic structure wedge of the world; definitely, to conservatives, society is not anything except compilation of diverse and self-directing persons, and these persons are the motivating strength of communal development.
People in conservative thinking are visualized as lucid and egocentric people who are familiar with how to live their individual lives without the need for others, and particularly not the nation, to inform them how to accomplish.
Conservatism mostly provides that every individual is accountable for his or her own existence and happiness and that each individual ought to have the socio-economic and political liberty to formulate the most of his or her own chances.
Culture, Government Leadership and Policy Formulation
Culture refers to the values and beliefs that are widely shared by members of an organization, group or a society. Societies, nevertheless, comprise subcultures pervading its divisions, occupational groups, and geographic regions. While some subcultures enhance dominant cultures, others such as countercultures directly oppose these cultures.
Although the latter may create conflict among employees, they can also maintain organization’s standard of performance and ethical behavior through supervision and evaluation of the organization’s core values (Blount, 1995). Culture is comprised of various elements that are vital for its existences.
Such elements are many and may include the beliefs, values, language and symbols of a given community or society. Language as an element of culture is necessary for enhancing communication within the society. Language involves use of symbols to convey messages.
The European Union is made of many countries that are characterized by different cultures as depicted by the different elements of culture. For instance, although English is a common language to many countries in the union, other countries have their own language of communication such as Germany and Spanish (Calhoun, 1995).
Other cultural aspects of culture such as values, and beliefs are also depicted in different societies. Different societies in EU have different values and beliefs systems that make them conspicuous. For instance, most beliefs in the countries are shaped together with the religions in the countries.
The religions in the countries vary and include Islam, Christianity, Hindu and Buddhism among others. Other cultural aspects depicted in EU are various symbols with significant attached meanings and artifacts (Mouton de 2001, p. 136).
Political Ideology, Culture and Policies and Legislation
The political ideology of a given government regime is important in relation to the policies that a government formulates and enacts. An ideology that is focused on economic development will see the government formulate policies that aim at economic development. On the contrary, a political ideology that is focused on social development would ensure that its leaders formulate policies and legislation on social development.
The government usually adopts the political ideology of the party that ensured its ascend to power. Given that every party has a political ideology, the legislation enacted by the government follows the ideology of the ruling party. Formulation of policies and legislations that promote trade and commerce therefore depends on the political ideology of the government, hence the party.
As noted by Daniel & Jeffrey (1996), most democratic regimes have formulated open policies that allow democracy. On the contrary, other closed regimes that do not favor democracy reduce its existence through formulation of policies and regulations that suffocates the forces of democracy within a country.
Culture too plays an important role in policy formulation. The policies and legislations formulated and enacted by a given government in a given country usually follow the cultural values and systems of the society within the state. For instance, a country whose religious affiliation is predominantly Islam rarely formulates policies and legislations that favors Christians or other religions such as Hindus.
Therefore, the beliefs system is of great importance. Language and symbols influences the legislations being made. For instance, most governments and states formulate policies that promote local languages and culture. The legislation is written in local languages since the affected people are locals.
According to Jourdan and Tuite (2006, p. 45), all cultural elements are significant on policy formulation as they influence the policy makers and legislators since they are part of the larger society in the country.
According to Jourdan and Tuite (2006, p. 52), the society has a great influence on the government based on tits cultural needs. A value system that promotes education, creativity and innovation would ensure that the government enacts legislations that promote what the society values the most such as Education.
For instance, the VET system in Europe promotes acquisition of knowledge and skills that enables individuals excels in life including innovation and creativity.
The employment system is based on various factors including the education system of a country. A country that has a strong and detailed education system would also have a large skilled labor force. Moreover, creativity and innovation in such a society is high. EU has a strong education system that is supported by Vocational education and Training system.
The VET was formulated to equip individuals with knowledge and lifelong skills that could not be provided in the normal education system. The system involves various significant features that have ensured its success in countries that have applied the system.
To begin with, the content learning feature ensures that learners have the necessary knowledge at the end of the course while the knowledge and skill feature of the programme ensure that individuals have the necessary skills required in the job market.
Moreover, the skills enhance creativity and innovation. The relationship feature ensures that individuals undertaking the programme are able to establish vital relationships with various stakeholders in their life including their peers, employers, employees and clients at work among many others.
On the contrary, the global education system is not uniform and varies from one country to another basing on the cultural features values and beliefs of the society among others. While the VET programme of the EU equips learners with vital skills in life, the normal global education system does not equip students with such skills and they have to obtain them from other private learning institutions whose attendance is optional.
Political ideology and culture are significant factors in formulation of policies and legislations. The government usually adopts the political ideology of the party that ensured its ascend to power. Therefore, the policies and legislations formulated and enacted are usually in line with the political ideology of the party in question (ruling party).
Culture on the other hand has a similar effect on policies because it reflects the people of a given country. Since individuals in power represent the majority as in democratic states, they must formulate policies favored by the society, which are in turn determined by cultural values and beliefs of the society.
Therefore, culture and political ideologies are important factors to be considered in policy and legislation formulation and enactment.
List of References
Clark, H 2006, Address to NZ labour party annual conference, Rotorua, London.
EUBusiness, 2010, EU Policy on Vocational Education and Training, viewed 6 January 7, 2012 <https://www.eubusiness.com/topics/education/vocational-training>
Foot, D & Ross, S 2004, Social sustainability. In C. Galea (ed.) Teaching business sustainability: Volume 1 – From theory to practice, Greenleaf, Sheffield.
Frenkel, S & Harrod, J 1995, Industrialization and labor relations: Contemporary research in seven countries, ILR Press, Ithaca.
Mouton de, G 2001, The Asmara declaration as a sociolinguistic problem: Reflections on scholarship and linguistic rights, Journal of Sociolinguistics, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 131-142.
Blount, B 1995, Language, culture, and society, 2nd Edn, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights.
Calhoun, C 1995, Critical social theory, culture, history and the challenge of difference, Blackwell, Oxford.
Daniel, E & Jeffrey, P 1996, Culture/contexture: Explorations in anthropology and literary study, University of California Press, Berkeley.
Jourdan, C & Tuite, K. 2006, Language culture and society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Tennant, M & Yates, L 2005, Issues of identity and knowledge in the schooling of VET: a case study of lifelong learning, International Journal of Lifelong Learning, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 213-226.
Speake, L 2007, Vocational education and training in Scotland and France: A comparative study, Scottish Executive, Edinburgh.
Rainbird, H 2010, Vocational education and training in the United Kingdom. In: Bosch, G.; Charest, J. (eds), Vocational training: international perspectives, Routledge, London.