Training policy was the subject of an apparent consensus in the 1980s and 1990s, as EC institutions, governments and opposition parties alike, as well as social actors, proclaimed their commitment to improving the skills of Europe’s workers, particularly in the face of unprecedented competition from low-wage but highly skilled labour forces in the fast-growing Pacific Rim economies. But this apparent consensus hides a real division between radically different approaches to training, which is visible in the persistence of nation-specific approaches to training in the pursuit of identical objectives. Thus, while training systems in all member states underwent significant change in the 1980s and 1990s, important differences remain and the EC itself has been largely powerless to influence such change directly. Nevertheless, it will be argued in this chapter that the EC has been able to act as a catalyst for change in the sense that it has accompanied and legitimised changes already taking place and facilitated an exchange of information, creating a menu of choices which national governments have been able to use selectively in their own search for economic competitiveness. Given that the impetus for change comes from the international commercial environment, governments seeking to improve national systems have explicitly compared their performance with that of competitors, and in this context the EU has been able to find a role in compiling information and disseminating best practice.
|Title of host publication||Beyond the Market|
|Subtitle of host publication||The EU and National Social Policy|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)