The development of key training policies in England and Australia: a comparison.

Andrew Smith, Erica Smith

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Public policies on training are firmly rooted in the historical, political, economic and social context of their countries. This paper explores the acceptability of such policies to stakeholder groups including learners and employers, and its impact on policy take-up, viability and longevity. The paper uses a comparative analysis of developments in the English and Australian systems in three key areas, using elements of public policy theory, to explain the factors affecting stakeholder acceptance of training policies. The data was gathered through a series of interviews with stakeholders in England and Australia in 2005. The paper focuses on the role of employers and the importance of employer acceptance to the successful implementation of training policy. The paper finds that the successful implementation of training policies depends upon participation in the system by all the stakeholders. The successful implementation of qualifications and apprenticeship policies in Australia rests on a foundation of institutions that support neo-corporatist employer and union participation in policy making as well as a public trust in past policies that seems to be lacking in England. The degree of employer involvement via neo-corporatist mechanisms such as concertation has a highly significant impact on the success of national training policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalLondon Review of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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