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Survival and Decline of the Apprenticeship System in the Australian and UK Construction Industries

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  • Phillip Toner

Abstract

The preservation of the apprenticeship system in the Australian construction industry contrasts with its decline in Britain over the last three decades. This decline is conventionally ascribed to changes in industrial structure, specifically a decline in the role of the public sector, intensification of subcontracting and growth of self-employment. Given that the Australian construction industry has undergone similar structural changes to those in the United Kingdom, this difference in outcome requires explanation. This article suggests that the contrasting outcomes are the result of institutional differences in the organization of the training system, employers and labour between the two countries. These institutional differences are, however, diminishing as arrangements for training and industrial relations in Australia are increasingly fashioned in the likeness of the United Kingdom. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:46:y:2008:i:3:p:431-438
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Linda Clarke & Georg Herrmann, 2004. "Cost vs. production: disparities in social housing construction in Britain and Germany," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 521-532.
    2. Graham Winch, 1998. "The growth of self-employment in British construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 531-542.
    3. Paul Ryan & Lorna Unwin, 2001. "Apprenticeship in the British ‘Training Market’," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 178(1), pages 99-114, October.
    4. Howard Gospel, 1994. "The Survival of Apprenticeship Training: A British, American, Australian Comparison," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 505-522, December.
    5. repec:sae:ecolab:v:17:y:2006:i:1:p:171-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Andrew Agapiou, 1998. "A review of recent developments in construction operative training in the UK," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 511-520.
    8. Brown, Phillip & Green, Andy & Lauder, Hugh, 2001. "High Skills: Globalization, Competitiveness, and Skill Formation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244201.
    9. Linda Clarke & Christine Wall, 1998. "UK construction skills in the context of European developments," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 553-567.
    10. Dan A. Black & Brett J. Noel & Zheng Wang, 1999. "On-the-Job Training, Establishment Size, and Firm Size: Evidence for Economies of Scale in the Production of Human Capital," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 82-100, July.
    11. Howard Gospel, 1998. "The Revival of Apprenticeship Training in Britain?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 435-457, September.
    12. Howard Gospel & Jan Druker, 1998. "The Survival of National Bargaining in the Electrical Contracting Industry: A Deviant Case?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(2), pages 249-267, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Coe, Patrick J., 2011. "Apprenticeship Program Requirements and Apprenticeship Completion Rates in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 27 Jan 2011.
    2. Huasheng Zhu & Kelly Wanjing Chen & Juncheng Dai, 2016. "Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-17, December.

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