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Large Employers and Apprenticeship Training in Britain


  • Paul Ryan
  • Howard Gospel
  • Paul Lewis


We consider the link between apprenticeship and large employers in Britain, in terms of the contribution of apprenticeship to intermediate skills and the contribution of large employers to the Advanced Apprenticeship (AA) programme. Evidence is taken from interviews with managers in 28 organizations. We find that apprenticeship functions to only a limited extent outside AA, and then primarily because of the ineligibility of particular categories of trainee. The use that employers make of apprenticeship varies considerably, in association with its cost-effectiveness relative to recruitment and upgrade training within human resource management strategy, and with employers' evaluations of the technical content of AA qualifications. The prospects for increased sponsorship of apprenticeship by large organizations are curbed by the greater appeal of recruitment and upgrade training in various contexts. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Ryan & Howard Gospel & Paul Lewis, 2007. "Large Employers and Apprenticeship Training in Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 127-153, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:1:p:127-153

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ryan, Paul & Gospel, Howard & Lewis, Paul, 2006. "Large employers and apprenticeship training in Britain," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2006-104, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Steedman, Hilary & Gospel, Howard & Ryan, Paul, 1998. "Apprenticeship: a strategy for growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20248, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Prais,S. J., 1995. "Productivity, Education and Training," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521556675, March.
    4. Howard Gospel & Paul Ryan & Hilary Steedman, 1998. "Apprenticeship: A Strategy For Growth," CEP Special Papers 11, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2016. "Recruitment and apprenticeship training," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 23(1), pages 6-24.
    2. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas, 2009. "Why do firms train apprentices? The net cost puzzle reconsidered," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 631-637, December.
    3. Phillip Toner, 2008. "Survival and Decline of the Apprenticeship System in the Australian and UK Construction Industries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(3), pages 431-438, September.
    4. Ryan, Paul & Wagner, Karin & Teuber, Silvia & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2011. "Financial aspects of apprenticeship training in Germany, Great Britain an Switzerland / Finanzielle Aspekte der betrieblichen Ausbildung in Deutschland, Großbritannien und der Schweiz," Arbeitspapiere 241, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    5. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2007. "Apprenticeship Training and Commitment to Training Provision," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0032, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    6. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "What Makes Firm-Based Vocational Training Schemes Successful? The Role of Commitment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 36-61, April.
    7. Paul Ryan, 2011. "Apprenticeship: between theory and practice, school and workplace," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0064, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Oct 2011.

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