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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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Result-based payment systems in vocational skills development: Siroco Messerli



Result-based payment systems in vocational skills development

In mainstream development cooperation it is still a widespread practice that programmes negotiate input prices, allowances and overheads with the implementation partners. This is particularly common in Vocational Skills Development (VSD) programmes. The focus of the negotiations is usually on discussing implementation costs, instead of what the product or service is worth. On the contrary, in a common market situation, the customers do not discuss input costs with the vendor, but assess the products or services offered with regards to their quality, design, quantity and price, against those offered by other competitors. This raises the question: why are VSD programmes not buying the products and services they really want from their partner organisations? By sticking to input-based approaches, the programmes run a high risk that the price for such inefficient contracting is eventually paid by the targeted primary stakeholders of the programme (i. e. trainees), who may be provided with inadequate or poor quality skills training, and employment services which do not lead to the intended outputs and outcomes. Unfortunately, it is still too often the case that VSD programmes stop short of providing skills training, and fail to ensure that the graduates become sustainably and gainfully employed.

There is no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’, as result-based models have been developed and practised in a range of development sectors and under various implementation contexts in many countries. Hence, it is more of a question...

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