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Skill Development in Middle Level Occupations: The Role of Apprenticeship Training

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  • Lerman, Robert I.

    ()
    (Urban Institute)

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    Abstract

    Concerns about the polarization of the labor market are widespread. However, countries vary widely in strategies for strengthening jobs at intermediate levels of skill. This paper examines the diversity of approaches to apprenticeship and related training for middle-level occupations. We begin by defining and describing middle-skills occupations, largely in terms of education and experience. The next step is to describe skill requirements and alternative approaches to preparing and upgrading the skills of individuals for these occupations. Programs of academic education and apprenticeship programs emphasizing work-based learning have often competed for the same space but the full picture reveals significant numbers of complementarities. Third, we consider the evidence on the costs and effectiveness of apprenticeship training in several countries. The final section highlights empirical and policy research results concerning the advantages of apprenticeship training for intermediate level skills, jobs, and careers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Policy Papers with number 61.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: May 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izapps:pp61

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    Keywords: training; apprenticeship; skills;

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    1. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2008. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," CEE Discussion Papers 0088, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    2. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Returns to apprenticeship training in Austria: evidence from failed firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23550, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Cappelli, Peter, 2004. "Why do employers pay for college?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 213-241.
    4. Wang-Sheng Lee & Michael B. Coelli, 2010. "The Labour Market Effects of Vocational Education and Training in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Wößmann, Ludger & Hanushek, Eric A. & Zhang, Lei, 2012. "General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62070, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Latika Chaudhary, 2012. "The Labor Market Returns to a For-Profit College Education," NBER Working Papers 18343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dionisius, Regina & Mühlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2008. "Cost and Benefit of Apprenticeship Training: A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 3465, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Jens Mohrenweiser & Thomas Zwick, 2008. "Why do Firms Train Apprentices? The Net Cost Puzzle Reconsidered," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0016, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Oct 2008.
    9. Michael Eraut, 2001. "The Role and Use of Vocational Qualifications," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 178(1), pages 88-98, October.
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    12. Muehlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "The financing of apprenticeship training in the light of labor market regulations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 799-809, October.
    13. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
    14. Edward P. Lazear, 2009. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 914-940, October.
    15. Samuel Muehlemann & Juerg Schweri & Rainer Winkelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of the Decision to Train Apprentices," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(3), pages 419-441, 09.
    16. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    17. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-28, January.
    18. Kostakis, Anastasia, 1990. "Vocational and academic secondary education in Greece: Public and private costs compared," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 395-399, December.
    19. Stasz, Cathleen, 2001. "Assessing Skills for Work: Two Perspectives," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 385-405, July.
    20. Robert I. Lerman, 2008. "Widening the Scope of Standards Through Work-Based Learning," Working Papers 2009-05, American University, Department of Economics.
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