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Apprenticeships in Bricklaying in Germany and England: A case study

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Presentation on theme: "Apprenticeships in Bricklaying in Germany and England: A case study"— Presentation transcript:

1 Apprenticeships in Bricklaying in Germany and England: A case study
Michaela Brockmann, University of Westminster Linda Clarke, University of Westminster Christopher Winch, King’s College London TUC, November 2010

2 The Research: Nuffield study: Cross-national equivalence of vocational qualifications and skills Cross-national: England, Germany, Netherlands, France Case-study approach: bricklaying, lorry-driving, software engineering, nursing Leonardo-da-Vinci: Bricklaying qualifications, work and VET in Europe Examines bricklaying qualifications in 8 European countries Developing a framework for the comparative assessment Assessing possibilities and problems concerning the implementation of EQF/ECVET

3 Occupational vs Skill-based VET systems
statutory framework social partnership recognised qualifications comprehensive nationally recognised VET programmes multi-dimensional competence ‘occupational capacity’ occupational knowledge general and civic education Skill-based: weak statutory framework marginalisation of stakeholder interests narrow skills sets, remedial functional skills functionalist-behavourist conception of competence minimal underpinning knowledge neglect of general and civic education

quantity surveyor bricklayer joiner construction manager site roofer architect Carpenter Joiner Bricklayer Concrete worker Plumber Site Manager Roofer Building engineer Architect UNTRAINED carpenter

5 Place, scope of bricklaying in England
1.9m employed in construction; c.100,000 bricklayers (11% of skilled construction tradespersons) Trade – not occupation, tools of trade, employed by LOSC, often self-employed, lack of stability, loss of status, usually paid according to price i.e. secondary not occupational labour market Fragmented nature of social partners: dominance of trade associations, VET employer-led, little trade union (UCATT) involvement Often narrow activities, especially housebuilding, but changing →increasing need for versatility (e.g. stone, concrete); glue instead of mortar + machines High degree informal learning + acquiring NVQ through OSAT → Need for more comprehensive VET as not reflecting changing labour process; what is bricklayer?

6 Nature of Bricklaying VET in England
Traditional trade-based VET: 21% first year construction trainees = bricklayers Predominantly NVQ2: 11% construction trainees = Level 3, 60% Level 2, 17% Level, little permeability or progression Apprenticeships: 4,831 bricklaying in England, c45% construction trainees but declining, 83% Level 2, c. 2 years, trade specific; college day release; 5x more apprentice applicants than places; fixed CITB apprentice grant partly through levy Exclusion of trade unions and FE sector though FE colleges key providers (Diplomas + work experience); divide between FE and industry Training variable standard & narrow, high drop out rate Conforming to particular labour market segment →too narrow, unrelated to other occupations, not geared to development of individual or changing labour process

7 Definitions: English bricklaying trade
Weak VET, intellectual function separated from manual, → weak occupational status Skills = physical and mental dexterity to perform employer-defined tasks in work process, acquired through traditional apprenticeship, learning mainly on job with little theoretical underpinning Competences confined to narrow trade skills required to produce given output Regulation and Currency: CSCS registration but difference between collectively agreed, qualification and pay levels Scope defined by employer/trade associations, little involvement of TUs & educationalists,

8 The English bricklaying qualification
NVQ Level 2 Mandatory: Conform to general workplace safety Conform to efficient work practices Move and handle resources Erect masonry structures Set out masonry structure Optional: Erect masonry cladding Lay domestic drainage Erect thin joint masonry structure Place and finish non-specialist concrete Plaster and render surfaces Maintain slate and tile roofing Repair and maintain masonry structures

9 The English bricklaying qualification (2)
NVQ Level 2 ‘Erect masonry structures’ Scope of performance: Interpreting information such as drawings Complying with relevant legislation Selecting resources for the work Complying with organisational procedures, including maintaining a clean work environment and waste disposal Carrying out the work: measuring, marking out; laying; position and securing; using tools and equipment; erecting masonry in brick and block) Knowledge and Understanding: (factual and procedural) Relevant legislation and procedures Knowledge of materials, components and equipment Knowledge of methods, calculating quantities, lengths, etc. Application of knowledge to methods of work (e.g. erecting walling, laying blocks, mixing mortar)

10 English bricklaying VET/apprenticeship
NVQs: Utilitarian, task-specific, based on the performance of tasks/skills Accumulation of skills rather than holistic competence development The role of knowledge Minimal, underpinning specific tasks, captured by the notion of skills ‘anti-learning culture’ of disaffected young people ‘you gain knowledge to be able to do the role that you are employed to do’ (CECA representative) The move to NVQs has involved ironing out the ‘nice to know but not necessary to know’ (ConstructionSkills representative) ‘why disaffect them and give them an additional hour in the classroom’ (college representative commenting on introduction of IT)

11 Nature of Bricklaying VET in Germany
Social partnership model of regulation, including assessment 3-year dual system apprenticeship level 3+; high success rate (77%; 92% inc. second attempt) comprehensive training; college + workshop + workplace; no modular structure; ‘step-wise’ (Stufenausbildung) qualification in one of 3 sub-sectors after 2 years (Hochbau, Tiefbau, Ausbau) occupational qualification after 3 years comprehensive mapping of occupations onto sector → occupational qualifications (Beruf Construction: 14 Berufe) → occupational labour market i.e. importance of qualification for labour market entry (82% of bricklayers have qualification) graded wage structure (6 levels) linked to qualification levels and hence collective bargaining system

12 German bricklaying apprenticeship
‘Occupational capacity’: as Beruf strong social identity VET as the continuation of education (compulsory education leaving age of 18) Handlungskompetenz ‘the ability and readiness of the individual to act adequately and in a socially- and individually-responsible way in occupational as well as in social and private situations’ Comprises occupational, personal and social dimensions Autonomy: planning, carrying out, evaluation

13 German bricklaying apprenticeship
Content: industrial knowledge (labour law, materials, health & safety, environmental protection) occupational knowledge and skills (building technology, technical drawing) general and civic education (economics, politics, German, sports) Broad scope of activity: Core units include: laying bricks, specialist masonry, concreting, formwork, rendering, cladding, plastering, insulation, surveying, renovation, planning (reading drawings, setting out, assessing and ordering materials), quality control.

14 Definitions: German Maurer Beruf
Formally recognised social category i .e. close relationship between occupation and social status Regulated VET and qualifications, promotion, theoretical & practical knowledge necessary to undertake defined and broad range activities Holistic and multi-dimensional competences linked to developing individual capacity and changes in labour process Systematised combination of knowledge, skills and competence i.e. uniting intellectual and manual Scope determined by social partners Link between occupational qualification and recognition through collective bargaining Link between occupations and education →mapping occupations onto sectoral structure

15 Conclusions 1: the qualifications
skills-based (level 2) task-specific, employer-defined minimal educational input not a precondition for labour market entry occupational (level 3) notion of competence development recognised entry route to the labour market

16 Conclusions 2: Scope of the occupation
skills-based restricted range of tasks, focussed on outputs and performance bricklaying as a trade occupational broad range of activities focus on the independent planning, execution and evaluation of tasks

17 Conclusions 3: Future Trends
Overall stability of European Construction workforce (Cedefop 2010). Stability in demand for intermediate levels of know-how over this period.

18 Conclusions 4: Important Developments
However, the stability of demand for intermediate level qualifications masks one important trend: - The increasing importance of self and project management and communication abilities for construction workers over this period (Danish Technological Institute 2008)

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