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Institutional Arrangements of Germany's Vocational Education System

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

Germany's vocational education system is one of its main competitive advantages. Due to its complex system of interrelated institutions-including business, labor, and the federal government-Germany has succeeded in creating a training system where supply and demand of apprenticeships is in balance and high quality training is provided. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which the German system can be transferred to the U.S., given the differences in the institutional context in both countries. Compared to the centralized organization of business, labor, and government in Germany, the U.S. institutions are highly decentralized and fragmented. The existing institutional context of the U.S. makes the implementation of a coherent national training system extremely difficult. A major reorganization of state and society, that is, labor and business, would be necessary to adopt a German-like system.

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