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The revival of apprenticeship training in Britain


  • Gospel, H.


This article examines the attempt to revive apprenticeship training in Britain in the 1990s. Traditionally apprenticeship had been the main formal method of training for manual workers and the principal means whereby intermediate skills were formed. However, from the late 1960s, apprenticeship training had declined. During the 1980s employers did little to sustain apprenticeships, and the Conservative government was suspicious of a form of training which it associated with trade unions. From the early 1980s, there was a growing discussion as to how far Britain lagged behind major competitors in terms of skill formation, especially at the intermediate level. In a significant change in policy in autumn 1993 the then Conservative government announced the Modern Apprenticeship. The first section of the article provides some definitions and a framework of analysis. The second section puts apprenticeship training into an historical and comparative context. In the next two sections the design and operation of the Modern Apprenticeship are considered. Finally conclusions are drawn and policy implications are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Gospel, H., 1997. "The revival of apprenticeship training in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20302, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
    2. Howard Gospel, 1994. "Whatever Happened to Apprenticeship Training," CEP Discussion Papers dp0190, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "An Investment Model for the Supply of Training by Employers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 556-570, May.
    4. Soskice, David W, 1993. "Social Skills from Mass Higher Education: Rethinking the Company-Based Initial Training Paradigm," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 101-113, Autumn.
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    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General


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