Project Information

A Comparative Perspective on Vocational Training in Ten Countries: Systems, Innovations and Results

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this project, which is supported by the Humboldt-Stiftung (HumboldtFoundation), the Institut Arbeit und Qualifikation (Institute for Work and Technology),the Canadian Government and the Canadian research network CRIMT (Centre de RechercheInteruniversitaire sur la Mondialisation et le Travail), is to investigate thevocational training systems in eleven countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark,France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, USA). In mostof these countries - with the exception of Germany and Denmark - the classicvocational training has diminished significantly in importance in recent decadesand has been partly lost to schools, colleges and universities. In some countries,there are attempts underway to re-build vocational training in a different form(examples are the New Apprenticeships in Great Britain and Australia).


The project compares the development of vocational training and the changeswithin the education systems of these countries over the past few years. Inparticular, the following questions are examined:

  1. What is the status of vocational training compared to that of general educationin schools and universities?
  2. What transitions have been created between general education and vocationaltraining and how are they used?
  3. Are there transitions between initial vocational training and continuoustraining and how are they used?
  4. Are vocational training and labour markets linked to one another - for examplevia remuneration structures, career paths, types of learning (dual system)?
  5. What is the standing of vocational training compared to that of generaleducation?
  6. Does vocational training increase or reduce segmentation within the labourmarket?

Duration and current status

The project started in 2005 and will be completed during mid 2007 with thepublication of a book. It is led by Prof. Dr. Gerhard BOSCH (IAT) and Prof.Jean CHAREST (University of Montreal).

Project handling

Arnulfo ARTEGEA GARCIA, UniversidadAutónoma Metropolitana, Mexiko, MEXIKO
Thomas BAILEY, Institute onEducation and Economy at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, USA
Peter BERG, School of Laborand Industrial Relations, Michigan State University, USA
Brahim BOUDARBAT, Ecole derelations industrielles, Université de Montreal, KANADA
Richard COONEY, AustralienCouncil for Education Research, Monash University, AUSTRALIEN
Roberto FLORES LIMA,ResearchCentre on Labour Economics and Knowledge Management, Mexiko, MEXIKO
Jin HO YOON,Division of Economics,Inha University, Incheon, KOREA
Mehdi LAHOU, Institut nationalde statistique et d’économie appliquée, Rabat, MAROKKO
Buyung-Hee LEE, Korea LabourInstitute, Seoul, KOREA
Philippe MÉHAUT, Laboratoired’économie et de sociologie du travail, Université d’Aix-en-Provence,FRANKREICH
Helen RAINBIRD, Universityof Birmingham, GROSSBRITANNIEN
Susanne WIBORG, Research Programmfor Comparative Education Policy, Danish University of Education, Copenhagen,DÄNEMARK
Jin ho YOON, Division of Economics,Inha University, Incheon, KOREA


Bosch, Gerhard / Charest, Jean, 2008: Vocational training and the labour market in liberal and coordinated economies. In: Industrial Relations Journal 39 (5), pp. 428-447

Bosch, Gerhard / Charest, Jean, 2008: Vocational training and its links with education and the labour market in five countries. In: Roger Blanpain: Challenges of European employment relations. Employment regulation, trade union organization, equality, flexicurity, pp. 241–259

Bosch, Gerhard / Charest, Jean, 2006: Vocational training systems in ten countries and the influence of the social partners. In: 14th IIRA World Congress: Social actors, work organization and new technologies in the 21th century 14th International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA) World Congress, september 2006, Universidad de Lima, Peru, pp. 297–312

Project data

Term of the project:
01.01.2005 - 30.04.2008

Reseach department:
Executive Director

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bosch