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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


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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Acknowledgements XXI


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Research for this thesis was funded to a considerable extent by the Re- search Grant of the University of Zurich. I also wish to recognise the support extended to me by the Institute of Upper Secondary and Voca- tional Education of the University of Zurich, which has provided me with the infrastructure and with wonderful company to fulfil my task. Primarily, however, I am indebted to Philipp Gonon, who has been engaged in closely supervising this project. He gave me innumerable opportunities to discuss the work in progress, was proofreading many earlier drafts and has, above that, become a rich source of inspiration for this and potential further work. Similarly, I would like to thank Jürgen Oelkers, who taught me, at an early stage, how to engage in research on education and who, with his critical historical work, has strongly influ- enced my perspective on education and education policy. Furthermore, I am highly grateful to Jürgen Schriewer, whose personal interest in my work is one of the reasons why this research was conducted at all. In the field, I am indebted to a number of persons and organisations, whose support was vital for me to exchange my ideas: In Bangladesh my thanks go to the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, to which I was associated as a research fellow for the time of my fieldwork there. In Sri Lanka, Siri Hettige and Athula Ranasinghe of the Univer- sity of Colombo and Lakshman Jayatillake of the National Institute...

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