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afew:
does Germany have a decent system of vocational training for these technical/manual posts any more, or doesn't it
It's quite possible that the system of vocational training is no longer what it is trumpeted to have been.

Back in the 1970's there were already novels about "involuntary unemployment" among youth looking for vocational training.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 05:26:21 AM EST
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It's pretty certain that it is not what it used to be or was reputed to be. But the dual education system is still there, and Mittelstand companies train apprentices (under some constraint).

The Apprentice: Germany's Answer to Jobless Youth - BusinessWeek

Lately, though, [2009], the system has come under stress through factors related to both the current downturn and long-term changes in the global labor market. The number of apprenticeships slumped more than 10% between 2000 and 2005, recovering only after the government threatened to compel companies to take more trainees. German officials expect the number to dip again this year because of the financial crisis.

The point you make here seems to me generally valid (and spot-on concerning France, for instance), and has surely taken its toll in Germany. But the relative position of Germany in this regard would still seem to me to suggest that it takes vocational training more seriously than a good many other developed economies.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 06:06:00 AM EST
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afew:
The number of apprenticeships slumped more than 10% between 2000 and 2005, recovering only after the government threatened to compel companies to take more trainees.
Did the same thing happen in the 70's?

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 06:43:09 AM EST
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The only discussion I can find is in a Dutch Central Planning Research Memorandum comparing German and Dutch apprenticeship systems (1995).

The author says there was a dip in the '70s then a rise in the '80s, that cannot be ascribed to demographic factors. (From points gleaned elsewhere, it's likely to be cyclical: companies pruning back in a downturn, then catching up).

1985-1995, the author says the decline is linked to demography. Afaik the decline has continued, leading to the government intervention in the mid-'00s that re-established the situation somewhat before the downturn.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 26th, 2011 at 08:31:16 AM EST
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