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Productivity and Skills in Industry and Services-A Britian-German Comparison


  • Karin Wanger

    (Fachhochschule fur Technik und Wertschaft, Berlin.)


It is widely accepted that the vocational and professional training system has a major impact on national competitiveness. In this paper a number of German-British studies in manufacturing and services are examined in order to show how skill systems have affected the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the two countries’ productivity performances. The studies have been conducted since the end of the 1980s to 2003 and have revealed specific links between vocational training, products and competitiveness on the basis of matched plant comparisons. The comparison between Britain and Germany has been chosen as these countries have very different national VET systems. The findings suggest that higher levels of apprenticeship training in German companies give them an advantage over their British counterparts with respect to flexibility to changes in markets, technology, quality and supply chains. The paper closes with a short discussion.

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  • Karin Wanger, 2005. "Productivity and Skills in Industry and Services-A Britian-German Comparison," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 44(4), pages 411-438.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:44:y:2005:i:4:p:411-438

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    1. repec:sae:niesru:v:130:y::i:1:p:52-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
    3. Culpepper, Pepper D, 1999. "The Future of the High-Skill Equilibrium in Germany," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 43-59, Spring.
    4. S.J. Prais & Valerie Jarvis & Karin Wagner, 1989. "Productivity and Vocational Skills in Services in Britain and Germany: Hotels," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 130(1), pages 52-74, November.
    5. S.J. Prais & Karin Wagner, 1988. "Productivity and Management: the Training of Foremen in Britain and Germany," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 123(1), pages 34-46, February.
    6. Broadberry, Stephen N & Wagner, Karin, 1994. "Human Capital and Productivity in Manufacturing during the Twentieth Century: Britain, Germany and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1036, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Finegold, David & Soskice, David, 1988. "The Failure of Training in Britain: Analysis and Prescription," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 21-53, Autumn.
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