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Vocational education and training in small ethnic minority businesses in the UK

Javed Hussain (UCE Business School, Birmingham, UK)
Harry Matlay (UCE Business School, Birmingham, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 27 November 2007

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate the provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Small Ethnic Minority Businesses (SEMBs) operating in the West Midlands region of the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach is employed, involving in‐depth, face‐to‐face interviews with 66 owner/managers of small ethnic minority businesses located in the West Midlands region of the UK. The research sample included 26 graduate entrepreneurs and 40 non‐graduate respondents.

Findings

Most of the SEMB owner/managers in this study exhibited a positive attitude towards VET. A large proportion of the respondents, however, admitted not to have provided any training during the previous 18 months of trading. Training provision appears to be affected by both “directly” and “indirectly” relevant factors. The majority of the SEMB owner/managers in the research sample do not have specific human resource strategies, audits, plans or related budgets, and training was offered largely on a reactive rather than proactive basis.

Research limitations/implications

Caution is advised in the use and generalisation of results that emerge from qualitative research that involved a small sample of respondents chosen from a restricted area of the UK.

Originality/value

The paper makes an original contribution of exploring the area of vocational education and training in small ethnic minority businesses that is at the forefront of discussion in academic and industry in the UK.

Keywords

Citation

Hussain, J. and Matlay, H. (2007), "Vocational education and training in small ethnic minority businesses in the UK", Education + Training, Vol. 49 No. 8/9, pp. 671-685. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910710834085

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited