The political economy of training: should Britain try to emulate Germany?

Article


Clarke, L., Lange, T., Shackleton, J. and Walsh, S. 1994. The political economy of training: should Britain try to emulate Germany? The Political Quarterly. 65 (1), pp. 74-92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-923X.1994.tb00391.x
TypeArticle
TitleThe political economy of training: should Britain try to emulate Germany?
AuthorsClarke, L., Lange, T., Shackleton, J. and Walsh, S.
Abstract

Training provision in Germany is widely assumed to be superior to that in this country, and is frequently held up as the model for an improved system of training for Britain. There is nothing new in this: a hundred years
ago, Alfred Marshall was arguing on very similar lines. But the comprehensiveness of the modern German training system, coupled with the success of the German economy since the 1950s, adds force to the argument. More German workers appear to receive formal training, certainly in the crucial 16-1 8 age group, than in Britain, and far more workers attain certified qualifications. Employers appear genuinely committed to longterm investment in human capital. In this article we examine the political economy of training in the two countries, and try to indicate the economic, legal and institutional incentives which produce the differences between them. We show that the German training system is the product of a wider post-war consensus which has been called ‘socially controlled welfare capitalism’. It cannot be explained in isolation from other aspects of the German economy. British attempts to replicate features of the German system in the UK, where desirable, are likely to prove unsuccessful unless this is understood.

PublisherWiley
JournalThe Political Quarterly
ISSN0032-3179
Publication dates
PrintJan 1994
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Mar 2013
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-923X.1994.tb00391.x
LanguageEnglish
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