Training the Excluded for Work: Access and Equity for Women,
Immigrants, First Nations, Youth, and People with Low Income,
Marjorie Griffin Cohen, ed., Vancouver: University of British Columbia
Press, 2003, pp. 276.
Training the Excluded for Work is an important contribution
to debates about the importance and viability of job training policies and
programmes that are directed to those who are “excluded” in
the Canadian labour market. It is also timely insofar as job training, in
contrast to post-secondary education policy, remains somewhat
underexamined in Canada. This is particularly ironic, as job training has
emerged as a key issue for policy makers, industry, workers and activists.
Training is frequently touted as a panacea that will address a host of
economic ills including unemployment, low productivity levels and lagging
investment. On the one hand, many employer and industry groups view
training measures as part of a larger strategy to address the imperatives
of a global economy. Here, neoliberal rationales tend to prevail—job
training becomes an investment in individual human capital. But on the
other hand, job training can also be an important means by which
marginalized groups, including youth, women, indigenous groups and
racialized minorities, address the terms of their exclusion from (or
limited inclusion in) the labour market. In doing so, other rationales
come to the fore, most notably the need to address social inequities in
the labour market. This edited book addresses this latter aspect of the
training policy debate.