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Social inclusion in VET in Arts and Crafts

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Article by UNISER

Within Work Package 3, MOSAIC partnership worked actively on desk research, focusing on five different topics: sustainability, digitisation, social inclusion, research and development of new economic and social models in the Arts and Crafts Vocational Education and Training (VET) system.

This article focuses particularly on the core results achieved with the desk research, and resulting report, about social inclusion.

Structured in 4 chapters, it aims at having a better understanding of how a systematic mapping of inclusive practices inside Arts and Crafts’ vocational education and training can consolidate and clarify the dimensions of social inclusion that are currently circulated within this field.

First of all, a legal framework on social inclusion is given exploring the main laws and regulations on this topic. Even though during the past ten years, numerous laws and specific ministries were set up, none of MOSAIC partner countries yet distinguishes between craft/creative businesses and other types of enterprise when it comes to applying inclusion legislation.

Moreover, when identifying inclusive practices in vocational Arts and Crafts’ education, one of the core challenges is finding a universal definition of the concept of social inclusion, which can have several nuances and understandings.

To have a more clear understanding how the topic of inclusion is assimilated within the Arts and Crafts sector, the project partners collected over 250 documents representing research articles, books, press releases and media publications that address the topics analysed in MOSAIC countries.

Graph 1 from Exploring the dimensions of social inclusion in Vocational Education in Arts and Craft report, page 30
Graph 1 from Exploring the dimensions of social inclusion in Vocational Education in Arts and Craft report, page 30


The above graphic shows how the vocabulary used to describe the topic of inclusion is decentralised and more diverse compared to other topics like digitalisation or sustainability.

The analysis of the vocabulary used to express ideas of inclusion in Arts and Crafts’ education showed that concrete and much debated aspects of inclusion such as disability and equality are in the centre of attention. Less attention, instead, is given to ideas of gender and minorities. 

It is relevant to remark that vocational training in Arts and Crafts can provide real responses to the challenges of social inclusion. For example, as the providers of training, craft businesses can contribute to the improvement of the situation of people excluded from the labour market, including women and minority groups from rural areas. Also VET centres use inclusive education to train new generations of professionals who act as ambassadors of cultural and social inclusion. At the same time, they can create educational environments where mutual respect and understanding predominate and facilitate the reduction of inequality and discrimination.

From mapping dimensions of social inclusion across the VET centres emerged that inclusive practices are embedded throughout different stages of education. Even before starting training, VET centres can establish different ways in which they can grant access to education. Moreover, they can offer tailored support for those with special needs and set up dedicated programs, which meet the needs of minorities and groups with accessibility needs. 

During education, VET centres can develop inclusive pedagogies, set up accessible infrastructure, as well as foster student participation and hands-on learning for those with special needs. They can provide inclusive support also towards the end of the education period, when they ensure access to the employment market for students with specific requirements. They can do this through dedicated promotion, presentations and networking events.

If you are curious to read the full report and deepen the main results of this MOSAIC social inclusion research, please check it at the following link: 

Here you can also find the other MOSAIC reports already published with many interesting key findings: 

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