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Skill Formation Regimes in South Asia

A Comparative Study on the Path-Dependent Development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training for the Garment Industry

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Markus Maurer

In the face of accelerated economic globalisation, many of the industries in economically less developed countries have become more technology-intensive. Skill formation processes, both inside and outside firms, are therefore changing. This study scrutinises such transformations by comparing – from the perspective of historical institutionalism – the skill formation regimes of the garment industries in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It sheds light on the differences between the trajectories of the in-firm skill formation regimes of the two countries, and reveals the important part that varying paths of educational development in both countries have played in shaping these trajectories. At the same time, the study shows how, in both countries, state-led skill formation regimes have been transformed not only by market forces and the growing importance of corporate business interests, but also by the social demand for educational credentials.

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List of Tables and figures .................................................................. XV List of abbreviations ........................................................................XVII Acknowledgements ........................................................................... XXI Foreword ........................................................................................ XXIII PART A: THE FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY Introduction............................................................................................ 3 The problem ........................................................................................... 3 Theoretical perspective .......................................................................... 9 Case selection ...................................................................................... 14 Outline for the study ............................................................................ 19 Literature review ................................................................................. 23 Economic literature on skill formation in developing countries .......... 24 Comparative education literature on skill formation in developing countries ........................................................................ 27 Political economists on skill formation ............................................... 39 X Maurer: Skill Formation Regimes in South Asia X Theory and methods ............................................................................ 45 The heuristic model ............................................................................. 46 A historical-institutionalist approach to political economy ....................... 46 Regimes and institutions ....................................................................... 48 Actors ................................................................................................. 51 Institutional genesis, reproduction and change over time .......................... 52 Specification of the heuristic model .................................................... 56 Skill formation institutions and skill formation regimes ........................... 56 Intersecting regimes .............................................................................. 67 Political and administrative regimes ....................................................... 76 A causal model of the political economy of skill formation regimes in developing countries ......................................................................... 80 Methods ............................................................................................... 84 Data requirements ................................................................................ 85 Data collection ..................................................................................... 86 Data analysis ........................................................................................ 95 PART B: THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONTEXT The development of the global textile and garment trade .............. 101 The development of the textile trade until World War II .................. 101 The development of the garment trade until 1995 ............................. 103 The development of the garment trade after 1995 ............................. 104 PART C: SRI LANKA The development of the political and administrative regime in Sri Lanka ................................................. 111 The political and administrative regime before economic liberalisation ...................................................................... 111 Table of Contents XI The political and administrative regime after economic liberalisation ...................................................................... 114 The development of the education and training regime in Sri Lanka ............................................................ 123 The education and training...

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