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International approaches to the development of intermediate level skills and apprenticeships: Case study report

This work was commissioned in response to increasing strategic and policy focus on developing intermediate level skills in the UK, particularly through the use of apprenticeships. It seeks to provide a better understanding of how other countries have developed intermediate level skills and what part apprenticeships play within their skills systems. Following horizon scanning, three countries were selected as case studies for the research: Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. All three countries were considered to be examples of countries which, first, have each developed an efficient and successful training system that has existed for more than a decade and second, use alternative approaches along the principal antagonisms in intermediate vocational training: (a) company-based training versus school-based training; (b) initial training versus lifelong learning; (c) theoretical versus practical knowledge; and (d) modular versus curricula based training. The main report, International Approaches to the Development of Intermediate Level Skills and Apprenticeships: Synthesis Report, contains summaries of the case studies, discusses findings with respect to UK policy learning, draws broad conclusions with respect to the character and effectiveness of the intermediate levels skills systems in the countries studied, and discusses the relevance of international policy experience for the UK.