02 SES 06 C, Comparative Studies / Benchmarking: Welfare Policies, Financing, Success Rates and Satisfaction
This paper focuses on basic similarities and differences between Continuing Vocational Education and Training (CVET) systems and welfare state polity and policies in the USA and in Germany as well as on the discourse on CVET reform in both countries.
Our starting point is a general current discussion about the respective 'systems‘ of CVET institutions and governance in the two countries. In both countries, discussions touch on matters of standardization and differentiation. But in doing so, they point into different directions: While we observe an ongoing debate on the relation of professions, competencies and qualification frameworks in Germany the discussion in the USA focuses on the enhancement of professional careers through dual initial vocational education and consequent forms of continuing education in the USA. In both countries, there are critical voices about the extent of state interference with the respective (C)VET system, but the discussions take place against very different backgrounds of welfare state polity and policies as well as labour market conditions.
As a second step, we attempt to compare concrete impacts of welfare policies on the two (C)VET systems and link them to the depicted discussions on present reforms. By describing similarities and differences in the USA and in Germany with reference to the social and the cultural background of the two countries we hope to analyse and discuss reasons of current governance practices as well as reform ideas. Against this background, we draw conclusions on both applicable research categories in this area and good practice of learning opportunities in CVET and welfare policy frameworks in both countries and around the world.
By choosing welfare state policy theory as a point of reference (i.e. Schrader 2011) we try to draw attention to the social dimension of work, qualification and CVET accompanying the gain of skills and certificates. How much training, schooling, apprenticeship and continuing professional learning do human beings need to complete their jobs and to be satisfied with their lives? In addition, how far does this differ between different groups or types of professions/professionals? How are welfare policies supposed to frame the fulfillment of these needs? Into which direction should current debates on the future of CVET be steered in order to be beneficial for individuals, organizations and the society? The paper concludes with more general answers to these questions that are crucial for our future understanding of CVET, governance, and social/political support for professional learning.
Fleige, Marion (2011): Kulturen der Nutzenpositionierung. Durch Wissen zu veränderten Lernentscheidungen. In: Report, vol. 3, pp. 72-81 Kasworm, Carol E. /Rose, Amy D./Ross-Gordon, Jovita M. (2010): Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education. 2010 edition. Thousand Oaks Schrader, Josef (2011): Struktur und Wandel der Weiterbildung. Bielefeld
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