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History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe

Cases, Concepts and Challenges

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Edited By Esther Berner and Philipp Gonon

Understanding today’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems requires a comprehension of the rise and development, i.e. of the foundations of topical VET. This book provides a comparative view of its development in Europe. The contributions of renowned authors give insight into conceptual questions, cases and challenges in this field.

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The Political Economy of Educational and Vocational Training Reforms in Western Europe from a Historical Perspective

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Abstract: This contribution explores the political and historical origins of skill formation regimes in the post-war period. By studying the cases of the UK, Sweden and Germany, the paper argues that partisan politics and different varieties of capitalism have played a crucial role in shaping different development paths at this critical juncture of historical development. VET survived in coordinated market economies, while it eroded in liberal contexts. Partisan politics shaped the specific institutional design of VET (workplace-based or school-centred training). In general, the chapter argues that taking historical processes and institutional contexts more seriously will help us to better understand the political origins of contemporary education and training regimes.

1.  Introduction: The puzzle

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