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Apprenticeship: Lessons from the German dual studies model of vocational education and training

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Date created
Author: Young, Irene
The German model of dual studies vocational education and training (VET) is often described as a major contributor to the successes of the German Economy. This thesis compares the main features of the German dual VET with the current VET system in British Columbia (BC) using the criteria proposed by Dieter Euler in a 2013 report commissioned by the Bertelsmann-Stiftung Foundation. Euler identified 11 essential elements as being keys to the success of the German VET and suggested that the elements could be useful in guiding implementation of the German VET model in other contexts. Euler also claims that a VET system should not be viewed as a single entity, but rather understood in terms of its component parts. This thesis applies Euler’s key elements as a frame for a critical review of the main elements of the current BC system of vocational elements and training and identifies areas of strength, weakness and sites for potential improvement. In order to ground the dual studies concept in current BC examples the thesis includes a field study of two different approaches to apprenticeship: the Block Release model of training as commonly used in the vocational programs of BC colleges and a working example of the application of the Day Release approach by an operating business. The field study found that while both models were grounded in the dual studies approach to apprenticeship, the two different applications resulted in varying experiences for students. The thesis concludes that the BC VET system could be improved in five of the 11 key areas identified by Euler and proposes that the BC system should be expanded over time to include occupations beyond the traditional trade categories through cooperative partnerships with leaders of government, the BCITA, business and labour. In addition, in order to improve the current social acceptance of VET, the provincial government should actively promote apprenticeship as an effective learning model and valid post-secondary option.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McClaren, Milton
Thesis advisor: Roemer, Tom
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