Same, but Different: The Emergence of VET in Three Nordic Countries

Christian Helms Jørgensen, Svein Michelsen, Jonas Olofsson, Daniel Persson Thunqvist

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Historically, apprenticeship has developed very differently in the three Nordic Countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, either as a dual system in a separate track (Denmark), as an integrated part of upper secondary education (Norway) or has almost disappeared (Sweden). The purpose of this chapter is to explore the roots of these differences in the period after the deregulation of apprenticeship caused by the dissolution of the guilds. In this period, from the mid-19th century until 1945, we examine how the three VET-systems responded to two common challenges for VET. The first challenge was how to develop new forms of regulations to safeguard a high quality of apprenticeship training and to secure an adequate number of training placements. The second challenge was how to provide the new “theoretical” qualifications required by production in the period of rapid industrialisation – and how the emergent vocational schools should connect with work based learning and apprenticeship. We find that a decisive factor for the survival or decline of apprenticeship in the three countries was the position of the labour market organisations on the proposals for state regulation of apprenticeship. Another crucial difference in the three countries was whether vocational schools developed as an integrated part of apprenticeship to supplement work-based learning, or whether vocational schools developed as a parallel system, and eventually as competitors, to apprenticeship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory of Vocational Education and Training in Europe : Cases, Concepts and Challenges
EditorsEsther Berner, Philipp Gonon
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationBern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016.
PublisherPeter Lang
Publication date20 Sep 2016
ISBN (Print)9783034323550
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2016
SeriesStudies in Vocational and Continuing Education

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