Department of Education

Research projects

Apprenticeships: Who Pays and Who Trains

This study makes a first-of-its kind attempt to compare participation in apprenticeship globally. Major problems are posed for international comparison by the unequal quantity and quality of data, both official and research, available. Data availability for apprenticeship internationally is more restricted and less reliable than for primary, secondary and tertiary (academic) education. In particular, comparable data are difficult to access, in part due to disparities in the definitions and measures employed by the international bodies when reporting on VET and apprenticeship. In addition, the terms used to define and refer to apprenticeship can disguise actual apprenticeship activity under a different name and vice versa.

There is a great diversity in apprenticeship organization, financing, institutional arrangements, and learning approaches in different countries. The apprentice demographic characteristics, as well as the differences in apprenticeship participation rates, indicate the varying degrees of appeal of apprenticeship to individuals and employers in the eight contexts. A fundamental assumption of the apprenticeship model is that there are benefits to both employers and individual learners.

For individuals, incentives to undertake apprenticeship may be linked to the process of learning as well as to the outcomes of that learning. The report examines two aspects of the process of learning that could motivate individuals to participate in apprenticeships – the appeal of learning through doing and the opportunities apprenticeships present for occupational socialization. The report also looks at two aspects of apprenticeship outcomes – the possibility of progression to employment or to additional education and learning while earning.

The analysis of incentives for employers shows a range of reasons related to their short-term interests and the needs of the production processes, technologies, and associated skills needs; longer-term benefits for the company’s staffing strategy; as well as the opportunity to make a contribution to the wider education and economic systems.

Funder: Qatar Foundation
Start date: August 2016
End date: July 2018

Final Report: Chankseliani, M., Keep, E., & Wilde, S. (2017). People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts (No. RR.9.2017). Doha, Qatar: World Innovation Summit for Education

This report presents the results of the analysis of apprenticeship in eight countries: Australia, Denmark, Egypt, England, Finland, Germany, India, and South Africa. The study used documentary analysis as its central methodological approach, citing, summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing and critically reflecting on existing literature and data produced by international organizations, government agencies, universities, and research institutions.

Media: 

The report ‘People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts’ (Chankseliani et al. 2017) was featured on BBC Oxford Radio where Maia Chankseliani was interviewed on 12.10.2017 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05h5vx8  (1:53)

The report ‘People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts’ (Chankseliani et al. 2017) was featured on Science X™  –  Government apprenticeship schemes are ‘fragile,’ according to new research  https://phys.org/news/2017-10-apprenticeship-schemes-fragile.html  12.10.2017

The report ‘People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts’ (Chankseliani et al. 2017) was featured in Schools Week – Apprenticeships a ‘fragile’ form of training, research warns  https://schoolsweek.co.uk/apprenticeships-a-fragile-form-of-training-research-warns/  13.10.2017

The report ‘People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts’ (Chankseliani et al. 2017) was featured in FE Week – Apprenticeships are “fragile” training, research shows https://feweek.co.uk/2017/10/16/apprenticeships-are-fragile-training-research-shows/ 16.10.2017

The report ‘People and policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts’ (Chankseliani et al. 2017) was featured in FE News – Strong incentives for employers to participate in apprenticeship provision is vital  https://www.fenews.co.uk/fevoices/15094-strong-incentives-for-employers-to-participate-in-apprenticeship-provision-is-vital   18.10.2017

Maia Chankseliani quoted in Spain’s second largest daily newspaper El Mundo, in an article Diez claves para educar mejor a las nuevas generaciones  (20 november, 2017). http://www.elmundo.es/papel/futuro/2017/11/20/5a0f39f346163f39708b45dc.html

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