'Social partnerships', the market and trade-union involvement in training: Britain and Germany compared

Upchurch, Martin (1997) 'Social partnerships', the market and trade-union involvement in training: Britain and Germany compared. Journal of European Social Policy, 7 (3). pp. 191-2008. ISSN 0958-9287

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Official URL: http://esp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/7/3/191

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Interest has arisen in the contribution of vocational education and training (VET) to national competitiveness as part of more general debates on ’national economic models’. In particular the ’dual system’ of the German ‘model’ has been put forward as a more competitive example than the deregulated and market-based system in Britain. Over the last decade and a half, training has been considerably overhauled in Britain with the aim of raising both the quantity and quality of provision. A range of new initiatives has been introduced without altering the market-driven and voluntarist approach. More recently, policy documents have emerged in Britain from both government and opposition on the question of education and training, while in Germany the Kohl regime has launched a ’50-point programme’ with the intention of labour-market deregulation and cutting non-wage costs. Yet evidence suggests that while the German system itself is now under strain as a result of increasing unemployment and employer-driven moves towards more flexible labour practices, it nevertheless remains superior in terms of its output and contribution to the country’s skills base. This article assesses the core philosophies and approaches within both systems and examines the prospects for ’plugging the gap’ in training between Britain and Germany. Finally, attention is given to the role of tradunions and collective bargaining as a vehicle for change.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Employment Relations group
Citations on ISI Web of Science:1
ID Code:2684
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Deposited On:24 Jul 2009 10:37
Last Modified:26 Mar 2015 15:41

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