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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


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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Adapting the dual system of vocational education and training: Rudolf Batliner



Adapting the dual system of vocational education and training


The dual apprenticeship system is seen to contribute significantly to the successful economic development and strength of Switzerland and some other European countries. Countries with dual apprenticeship systems are praised for having lower youth unemployment rates (Hoeckel & Schwartz 2010, p. 14). Since the beginning of development cooperation, Vocational Education and Training (VET) has been a prominent intervention area. For many years, the export of the dual apprenticeship scheme was part of the German (and to a lesser degree, Swiss) cooperation programme. SDC’s evaluation of the VET sector concludes:

Undoubtedly, the dual model is considered to be an important feature of the Swiss VSD system, and the expectations of Swiss policy makers are high… However, evidence from the evaluation, as well as experience with the approach from other donors … suggests that it is difficult to sustainably involve representatives of the private sector […] in the delivery of training along the lines of the dual model (Maurer 2010).

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