Walker, Martyn (2013) ‘Rule of Thumb Methods no longer suffice’ : the relevance of the history of coal mining education to contemporary policy. In: Journal of Vocational Education and Training 10th International Conference, 5th-7th July 2013, Worcester College, Oxford.

The paper looks at the historical developments of British mining education and
training, particularly following nationalisation of the industry in 1947 until the mine
closures of the 1980s. The research provides evidence that the qualifications offered
and funded by the National Coal Board, such as electrical engineering, mechanical
engineering and surveying, were not only relevant to the industry and supported a
career in coal mining, but they also provided transferable skills and expertise which
were attractive to other industries as well as the tertiary sector. Interviews carried
out by the author with former mine workers provides insight into their professional
development with regard to the qualifications they undertook. These qualifications,
from First Certificate (which was compulsory for all new employees in the Coal
Industry) to BSc degrees, were underpinned with English, mathematics and science.
The paper also briefly identifies the depth and variety of subject content found in
each qualification at each level, highlighting the much sought after transferable
skills; something twentieth-first century curricula developers should take into account
when designing work-based qualifications for employability in a changing World

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