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The Provision of Training in Britain: Case Studies of Inter-Firm Coordination

By Jim Foreman and Howard Gospel


This article examines how and why employers cooperate in the provision of training. Such cooperation has a long history in Britain, but it has varied over time in extent and strength. It exists in a strong form in the German speaking countries where employers' organisations and chambers of commerce are a fundamental part of the training system. In the UK, we argue that this form of training is more prevalent than is often thought and that it can have a positive effect on the quantity and quality of training. Case studies are presented of the following: an industry-wide body, namely an employers' association; a local multi- industry body, namely a chamber of commerce; a traditional group training association; a local consortium of big employers; and a network of firms in a large company's supply chain. Though such forms of organisation have much to commend them in the training field, in the UK coverage is uneven and its stability is fragile.

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