Fuller, Alison and Unwin, Lorna
From cordwainers to customer service: The changing relationship between apprentices, employers and communities in England , Oxford, GB SKOPE 71pp.
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In this paper, the authors examine the changing nature of apprenticeships in two areas of England which have been closely associated with the manufacturing industry since the Industrial Revolution. It is suggested that analysis of the changing relationship between apprenticeship and community over the past 50 years can provide insight into how traditional and contemporary models of apprenticeships reflect the social and economic characteristics of their times. The authors argue that policymakers, employers and training providers need to consider the lessons from history when developing a contemporary model of apprenticeship. They propose an analytical framework which identifies four interrelated ways in which the concept of community can be applied to apprenticeships: pedagogical, occupational, locational and social. In exploring the changing relationship between these four dimensions of community and apprenticeship, the authors draw on case study research undertaken in Derby and Swindon. The authors conclude that traditional apprenticeships in the manufacturing industry were part of local community life and provided training and jobs for generations of young people. However, the industrial and social conditions have changed dramatically and suggest that the development of an effective contemporary model of apprenticeship will require the rebuilding of the relationship between communities, employers and apprentices within the framework of current economic, occupational and social conditions.
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