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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

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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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Development cooperation in the field of vocational education and training – The dual system as a global role model?: Philipp Gonon

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PHILIPP GONON

Development cooperation in the field of vocational education and training – The dual system as a global role model?

Vocational training in Germany and Switzerland is often internationally known as the “apprenticeship model”, “dual apprenticeship system” or “Dual System”, and it is considered to be the “success model”. It not only provides training possibilities for young people (notably those not willing or capable of acquiring academic qualifications) but is also generally considered to have contributed significantly to economic upswing and the prosperity of these societies (Eichhorst et al. 2012). Currently, it is the low youth unemployment rate of countries with a “Dual System” that is receiving particular attention. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that many other countries are pursuing some kind of model transfer or “policy borrowing” plan; evidenced by their frequent references to the model in discourses on the “modernisation” of their societies or educational systems. For this reason, the notion of the dual apprenticeship system as an “export hit” emerged, not only in Europe and the OECD countries, but also in developing countries, and there have been a number of attempts to introduce this model in various contexts.

However, most observers are sceptical about the results of such export attempts; indeed, they often speak of a general transfer “failure”, for there is no country where such a model has successfully and lastingly been implemented on a large scale and as the main system.

Obviously a simple...

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