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History of Vocational Education and Training in Europe

Cases, Concepts and Challenges


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 German VET System and Labour Market Segregation by Gender: A Historical Perspective


Abstract: Despite considerable political and pedagogical efforts to alter gender discrimination in skilling and employment, labour market segregation by gender can be identified as a dominant feature of European labour markets. By reconstructing the parallel structures of “dual” and “school-based” vocational routes, the paper provides insight into the historical roots of the bifurcation of the German skilling system and how it has structured women’s work trajectories over time. It also reveals how segmentation patterns have been historically interwoven with the male breadwinner model sustained by social policy regulations and the German taxation system.

1.  Introduction

Like in most other countries around the world, female labour force participation in Germany has grown significantly in the past forty years, having induced a major restructuring of the labour market (OECD 2012). During the same period, in Germany like in other Western countries, labour market segmentation by gender has become more pronounced not only in terms of sectoral segmentation, but also in terms of working time, pay structures and representation in job hierarchies. While the profiles and extent of this segmentation vary between countries (Schäfer et al. 2012), Germany is a specific case where the skilling system significantly contributes to upholding distinctive labour market segmentation by gender. Here we find, first, a close connection between skills formation and occupational labour markets (Rubery & Grimshaw 2003) and, second, the prevalence of the male breadwinner model sustained by social welfare policies (BMFSFJ 2011). The vocational training system and the...

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