Sheila Lawlor

Reversing Decline - Vocational Training and Education for a Highly Skilled Workforce


For Western Europe’s three largest developed economies, Germany, France and the UK, much of their success in the future will depend on how effectively they develop and sustain a highly skilled, knowledge-based economy poised to compete globally. Not only will economic and employment policy matter, but so too will each country’s education and vocational training system, how successfully each educates pupils to realize their potential to the highest international standards, and how well each provides for a vocational training system to equip entrants to a high value labour market for the years to come.

Each of the individual systems of Germany, France and the UK will be considered in this report in terms of their overall structure and arrangement, curriculum, general academic aims, vocational education goals and basis. The analysis will conclude by suggesting there may be lessons from France and Germany for the UK as it restructures the system both of general education and vocational and technological education and training.  Now that Britain is leaving the EU and preparing for its new global role as a trading economy, with its own seat on the WTO, it needs, as it develops its financial and industrial base, to equip its labour market.