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  National employment and training patterns shaping HRD

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  Patterns of employment and training are part of the context of national culture which influences the development of human resources in European countries [R02]. There is a long tradition of apprenticeships based on the guilds. Many countries have a strong tradition of vocational education. This has led to a close collaboration between schools and companies, even to the idea of the 'Lernwerkstatt', the learning company or the learning organisation. We also see a merger between vocational education and activities in the domain of HRD in companies. Another aspect we find in Europe very strongly is that training has been organised by branches of industry or economic activities. In some countries we observe a sharp controversy between employers and employees. This very often inhibited the development of joint activities in the domain of HRD. In other countries there is a long history of deliberation and consensus among social partners. This has been vital for the development of joint action for training and education [R04]. 

With regard to HRM, four resourcing models have been identified (Germany, Scandinavia, Central Europe and Southern Europe) [R07]. If the broader context of national culture and its manifestation in history, law, institutions, trade union and employing organisation structures is considered the clustering of European countries appears to be less distinct [R01].

An investigation of large organisations has revealed that HRD strategies within Europe have more commonalities than cross-country differences. The commonalities refer to the vision on HRD functions and the implementation of strategies, while the differences are related to the national contexts, incentives for organisations and individuals to invest in HRD activities, policy measures taken by the national administration, law enactment in certain fields (like environmental law, law on labour conditions, safety), and the developments in the educational systems [R08].

Several projects address the issue of employment and training patterns in the conceptual framework of HRD related issues, for instance COMPETE [E01a] and WEX21C [E11b].

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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO