Going up-skill: exploring the transformation of the German skill formation system

Niccolo Durazzi, Chiara Benassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The German skill formation system has been undergoing significant changes over the last two decades and most recently we observed massive expansion of higher education vis-à-vis the ?traditional? dual vocational training, which stands in contrast with the notion of equilibrium that has accompanied the German skill formation system in the literature. Yet, while the institutional underpinnings of the traditional model have been subject to comprehensive scrutiny and theorisation ? including analyses of recent patterns of change ? it remains unclear what arrangements have become institutionalised as skill formation ?moves up? from the dual vocational training to the university system. The article suggests that a (dominant) pattern of state coordination co-exist with a segmentalist pattern: the state mobilized resources and coordinated the provision of high skill formation to the benefit of all companies and in particular of small and medium sized enterprises that have relatively fewer resources and capacity to train; in parallel, large firms, with more resources and a large internal labour market, met their high skill needs also without state-mediation, by establishing direct relationships with higher education institutions through dual study programmes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGerman Politics
Early online date17 Sep 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Sep 2018


  • skill formation
  • higher education
  • institutional change
  • vocational training


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