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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Some countries develop the (general) skills of industrial workers largely through regular secondary education systems whereas other nations rely on a network of industrial schools and apprenticeship programs to offer their workers credentialed industry or firm-specific occupational skills. Skills Builders delves into the origins of diverse forms. First, patterns of industrial development and economic cleavages shaped the development of skills-training institutions; thus countries with stark regional heterogeneity have been less likely to develop national training systems. Second, the legacies from pre-industrial patterns of cooperation in some nations – most prominently, from the guild system – have encouraged both employers and workers to negotiate collective vocational training institutions. Third, the political features of the state (most importantly, the structure of party competition and degree of federal power sharing) reinforce or work against collectivist solutions to skills needs, cooperative industrial relations systems, and entrenched regional cleavages. Finally, both employers and workers become more committed to skills training when these groups are institutionally well-organized and are given a significant role in the creation and oversight of training programs.

Keywords: apprenticeship, industrial schools, national training systems, secondary education, vocational training

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