Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

Improving the Connection Between Schools and Work – New Approaches in Sweden and Germany

The DfES consultation document Success for All represents the government’s attempt to initiate a wide-ranging reform process in further education and training. Two of the main aims of this process are to offer ‘[…] 14 – 19 learners greater choice and higher standards with academic and vocational programmes’ and to offer ‘[…] employers much more productive engagement with a transformed and responsive network of providers committed to meeting regional and sub-regional skill needs’ (DfES, 2002, p. 10).

Despite a consultation process on the document and the continuation of the government’s relentless review and restructuring agenda, there seems to be precious little evidence for both, a significant improvement of qualification structures and an increasing involvement of employers in school-based training provisions in particular. Therefore, this paper outlines two reforms of school-based training in Germany and Sweden that seem to fulfil both aims quoted above.

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