In recent years the German economy has grown sluggishly and created few new jobs. These developments have led observers to question the future viability of a model that in the past seemed able to combine economic growth, competitiveness in export markets, and low social inequality. This volume brings together empirical and comparative research from across the social sciences to examine whether or not Germany's system of skill provision is still capable of meeting the economic and social challenges now facing all the advanced capitalist economies.
At issue is the question of whether or not the celebrated German training system, an essential element of the high-skill, high-wage equilibrium, can continue to provide the skills necessary for German companies to hold their economic niche in a world characterized by increasing trade and financial interdependence. Combining an examination of the competitiveness of the German training system with an analysis of the robustness of the political institutions that support it, this volume seeks to understand the extent to which the German system for imparting craft skills can adjust to changes in the organization of production in the advanced industrial states.