Competence and employability

Sven Mørch and Barbara E. Stalder

in Young people and contradictions of inclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9781861345547
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304357 | DOI:
Competence and employability

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This chapter analyses the tension between employability and competence, two concepts that have recently come onto the European policy agenda. At first sight, policy documents operate with the assumption that both of these concepts are compatible, with competence being a necessary prerequisite of employability. With a more detailed second appraisal, however, it can be shown that employability, as a labour-market-related concept in most interpretations, is understood as an adaptation of the workforce to labour-market demands, while competence is related to a more holistic view of individual-capacity building and identity work. The chapter broadens the perspective in two directions, arguing that both social modernisation and individual personal development have to be considered as the necessary context for the conceptualisation of competence and employability.

Keywords: European policy; work competence; labour market; identity work; social modernisation

Chapter.  6995 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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