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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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Permeability in Two-Year Training Occupations in Germany: From Basic Training to Promotion of Lifelong Learning – a View at Historical and Current Developments


Abstract: The paper deals with training in the dual system with a duration of two years instead of three (which is the normal case). It depicts the change in the conceptualization of these schemes towards lifelong learning settings supposed to ease the transition to “ordinary” occupational training. The development of two-year training schemes is shown in more detail by using the broad approach of permeability. This approach is divided into three further concepts. The concept of permeability is described as a credit option and as a possibility to enter a subsequent educational track. The third concept deals with structures to support individual mobility. The paper examines two-year training occupations with respect to these three concepts which are worked out from a historical and a present-day perspective.

1.  Problem context and research questions

In Germany, three-year training courses in the dual system are the common model (Deissinger 2010; Deissinger 1996). Besides, there are dual training occupations with a duration of two years. They were developed to offer young people with low achievements in their educational career an improved start of their occupational pathway and also to raise the willingness of companies to impart training in shorter, but still bearable training occupations (Gruber & Weber 2007, p. 77; Bellaire et al. 2006, pp. 10ff).

Two-year training occupations have passed through different developments and have again and again been exposed to various influences from economy, society and educational policy. They are up to now a...

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