Report

Apprenticeship in 8 Countries – Australia, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, Germany, India, and South Africa

This report presents the results of the analysis of apprenticeship in eight countries: Australia, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, Germany, India, and South Africa. The study used documentary analysis as its central methodological approach, citing, summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing and critically reflecting on existing literature and data produced by international organizations, government agencies, universities, and research institutions.

Apprenticeship plays an important role in supporting young people in the transition between school and work. Countries with large, well-functioning apprenticeship systems generally have lower youth unemployment rates because of the relatively smooth school-to-work transition mechanism that such a system ensures, as well as a smaller sized cohort of NEETs.

This study makes a first-of-its kind attempt to compare participation in apprenticeship globally. Major problems are posed for international comparison by the unequal quantity and quality of data, both o cial and research, available. Data availability for apprenticeship internationally is more restricted and less reliable than for primary, secondary and tertiary (academic) education. In particular, comparable data are di cult to access, in part due to disparities in the definitions and measures employed by the international bodies when reporting on VET and apprenticeship. In addition, the terms used to define and refer to apprenticeship can disguise actual apprenticeship activity under a different name and vice versa.

There is a great diversity in apprenticeship organization, financing, institutional arrangements, and learning approaches in different countries. The apprentice demographic characteristics, as well as the differences in apprenticeship participation rates, indicate the varying degrees of appeal
of apprenticeship to individuals and employers in the eight contexts. A fundamental assumption of the apprenticeship model is that there are benefits to both employers and individual learners.

For individuals, incentives to undertake apprenticeship may be linked to the process of learning as well as to the outcomes of that learning. The report examines two aspects of the process of learning that could motivate individuals to participate in apprenticeships — the appeal of learning through doing and the opportunities apprenticeships present for occupational socialization. The report also looks at two aspects of apprenticeship outcomes — the possibility of progression to employment or to additional education and learning while earning.
The analysis of incentives for employers shows a range of reasons related
to their short-term interests and the needs of the production processes, technologies, and associated skills needs; longer-term bene ts for the company’s staffing strategy; as well as the opportunity to make a contribution to the wider education and economic systems.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at People and policy: a comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts

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