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The Challenges of Policy Transfer in Vocational Skills Development

National Qualifications Frameworks and the Dual Model of Vocational Training in International Cooperation


Edited By Markus Maurer and Philipp Gonon

In the context of renewed global interest in the development of vocational skills, policy makers in many countries as well as representatives of technical organisations often hope to reform existing training systems by borrowing models and policies that seem to work elsewhere. One of these prominent models is that of ‘National Qualifications Framework’, the use of which now spans the entire globe. On a much smaller scale, the ‘Dual Model’ of vocational training – a systematic combination of school and workplace-based learning that is common in a number of countries in Western Europe – has also gained attention in international cooperation.
Bringing together contributions from authors involved in both the theory and practice of vocational skills training development, this volume analyses the challenges that are tied to the transfer of these two dominant models in the context of international cooperation, sheds light on how they are being implemented, and discusses alternatives to the standard approaches to policy transfer.
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What do we need for vocational skills development: Data, consultancy or research? All of them!: Michel Carton



What do we need for vocational skills development: Data, consultancy or research? All of them!

Are VSD data and evidence a Post-2015 MDG’s discourse or an undervalued reality?

The High Level Panel (HLP) Report on the Post-2015 Agenda produced by the Eminent Persons gathered by the UN Secretary General and published in May 2013, calls for a New Data Revolution: “We need to build better data-collection systems, especially in developing countries. Without them, measuring the goals and targets set out here can become an undue and unfeasible burden” (p. 56). This position is correct, as the production of knowledge through research is central to the task of reaching and monitoring the new post-2015 global goals that will be set soon. It is also expected that the policies stemming from these goals will be grounded in the evidence and results extracted from the data. Examination of the synopsis of the presentations being made at the Zurich Conference on Policy Transfers in Vocational Skills Development: Dual System and National Qualifications Frameworks (September 2012, see January 2013 Norrag Blog) reveals an important issue: in contrast to the HLP discourse above, the words ‘research’, ‘knowledge’, ‘data’, and ‘evidence’ do not appear anywhere in the synopsis!

Does this imply that the process of transferring the dual vocational training system as well as National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) need not be based upon continual data-results-evidence collection and construction? Are these instruments so “obvious”, so “natural”, so “good...

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