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CEP discussion paper

Apprenticeship in Europe: 'Fading' or Flourishing?

This paper sets out the extent and defining characteristics of apprenticeship in Europe. Apprenticeship is then situated within the wider context of European provision for education and training of 16-19 year olds and a simple typology is proposed and explained. The German-speaking dual system countries are characterised as high employer commitment countries with minimal integration of apprenticeship into full-time 16-19 provision and weak links with tertiary education. The UK, the Netherlands and France are characterised as having relatively low levels of employer commitment but greater integration of apprenticeship into full-time provision and stronger links between apprenticeship and tertiary level provision. Recent evidence on the extent to which both apprenticeship models improve employment probabilities is reviewed and pressures on the two apprenticeship models resulting from increasingly competitive global markets and consequent changing skill needs are examined. A final section discusses whether apprenticeship in Europe can adapt to and survive these pressures.

Hilary Steedman

December 2005     Paper Number CEPDP0710

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Education and skills programme.