File30Alternative systems of education and training.pdf

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Alternative systems of education and training (Soskice in Lisa Lynch, ed., Training and the Private Sector , 1994) 1. We have been discussing education and training . Training, in the form of vocational education, can take place at schools. But much of it takes place in workplaces. It is provided by employers. Apprenticeships often combine both schooling and training at the workplace. As we saw in the previous lecture, the Canadian apprenticeship has attracted considerable policy interest over recent years. 2. Workplace training often takes place independent of, or after, apprenticeships. Countries (and Canadian provinces) differ in how they deal with both apprenticeships and workplace training more generally. 3. Any system of employer-provided training has to deal with the following problem: # there is a cost to training which is sometimes quite high; # if an employer incurs the cost of training there is the possibility that the employee trained may go to another, free-riding , employer after the training is completed; # not having spent anything on training the hiring employer can probably pay a higher wage - that employer free-rides because he or she profits from the training provided by the first employer but incurs none of the cost of its provision. 4. Note that the skills provided by training are routinely divided into two different categories: general skills and specific skills . # General skills are portable - much of what plumbers, engineers, and human resource managers do. These then are the sorts of skills that free-riding employers are likely to poach. # Specific skills are tied to a particular job or employer. As well as having general skills plumbers and engineers may know about the particular equipment used in a particular workplace. Human resource managers know about the particular pension scheme, holiday access rules, and performance evaluation system of their current employer. These skills cannot be poached. Nonetheless, there is still a cost in training to develop them so employers have to worry about how to ensure that employees trained in specific skills do not quit. 5. A standard comparison in discussions of apprenticeship policy is between Canada and Germany. Both have apprenticeship systems but: i) the average age of apprentices differs: Canada 27, Germany 17; ii) the proportion of youth in apprenticeships is much higher in Germany.
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  • Fall '12
  • MichealR.Smith

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