Apprenticeship in the British 'Training Market'

By Ryan, Paul; Unwin, Lorna | National Institute Economic Review, October 2001 | Go to article overview

Apprenticeship in the British 'Training Market'


Ryan, Paul, Unwin, Lorna, National Institute Economic Review


Paul Ryan [*]

Lorna Unwin [**]

British apprenticeship, now dependent on the Modern Apprenticeship programme, is compared in this paper to both German apprenticeship and its national predecessor, Youth Training. Modern Apprenticeship shares many of the attributes of Youth Training, and shows some improvement in terms of skills produced. However, British apprenticeship performs poorly, in terms of rates of qualification and completion, as well as in breadth and depth of training, relative to its German counterpart, despite the provision by Modern Apprenticeship of substantial government financial support. The fact that MA resembles YT more than German apprenticeship reflects continuing institutional differences between the two countries, notably the limitations of the training quasi-market in which both YT and MA have operated. The prospects for MA to flourish, let alone perform the educational role that the government envisages for it, are bleak in the absence of institutional development along different lines.

Introduction

Since 1994 a public programme, Modern Apprenticeship (MA, has sought to increase Britain's supply of in-termed ate skills by expanding work-based learning among young people. The programme is oriented towards craft and technician skills, and to the blending of on-the-job and off-the-job training.

The context is one of low skill supplies, and the damage done thereby to Britain's economic performance and social fabric. The national shortfall in productivity and trade performance, relative to Germany and France in particular reflects lower national inputs of skill, particular at intermediate level (Prais, 1995; Oulton, 1996; Mason, 2000). Moreover, the work-based path to intermediate skill, through apprenticeship, is associated with favourable school-to-work transitions, for both individuals and countries (Ryan, 2001a).

Such concerns nowadays permeate government policy (DfEE, 1999a). National targets have been adopted for the acquisition of qualifications by young workers. Progress towards meeting the youth targets has however occurred largely along the full-time, classroom-based route, general and vocational. The work-based route has thus far contributed little: youth employment has shrunk and many participants in labour market programmes have not gained the desired qualifications. An expansion of work-based learning could tap its greater appeal to many young people than that of fulltime, classroom-based learning (Green and Steedman, 1997).

Modern Apprenticeship is enigmatic, welcomed in principle but criticised in practice (Evans et al., 1997; Fuller and Unwin, 2001). The programme may be viewed from two perspectives. The content of its title suggests that MA should be viewed as apprenticeship as the institution is understood nowadays on the continent-i.e., as occupational preparation combined with vocational education. From that standpoint, it appears peculiar and defective (Steedman, this issue; Ryan 2000, 2001b). The capitalisation of its title suggests however that MA should be viewed as a labour market programme, part of the genus developed since the 1970s (Unwin, 1997). From that standpoint, Modern Apprenticeship appears an improvement within national mainstream. We find the 'programme' perspective more appropriate to understanding MA's functioning; the 'institution' perspective, to assessing its contribution to skills.

Our discussion contains four restrictions. Firstly, we concentrate on efficiency aspects, notably national skill supplies, and set aside the equity objectives as universal youth access, that have influence the programme's design. Conventional economic relating labour market outcomes to in MA, is debarred by data unavailability (Payne et al., 2001). Instead, we present evidence on the programme's operation, aspects typically slighted in economic evaluations (Grubb and Ryan, 1999). Secondly, given our focus on intermediate skills, we concentrate on what is now termed Advanced Modern Apprenticeship. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Apprenticeship in the British 'Training Market'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.