Transforming the public provision of training: reorganisation or privatisation? Long-term changes in Sweden and The Netherlands: Discussion dossier

Jittie Brandsma, Richard Noonan, Sven-Age Westphalen

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    The public sector is becoming less concerned with who is providing a given service but more concerned about the quality, reliability, accessibility, and price of the service. In vocational education and training (VET), one consequence of this transformation is that the various public stakeholders involved with funding, purchasing, and providing VET are increasingly being separated, ensuring that overlaps in responsibilities and sometimes contradicting interests of public stakeholders are minimized while guaranteeing a greater accountability of the various agencies, whether public or private. The corporatization of the Swedish public training provision system, the AMU-Gruppen, is a clear example of deregulation and market orientation of a formerly highly public body with an almost monopolistic position. The process, which started in 1986 with the AMU-Gruppen being transformed from a division under the national board of education to an autonomous agency, may end with the privatization of the entire structure. Likewise, the restructuring of the Dutch VET system, which has resulted in the establishment of regional training centers, has been a long process, initiated by legislation in 1987 that resulted in the first mergers, and continuing so that by 1998-99, the total number of publicly funded VET institutions has dropped from 396 to 65.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationThessaloniki
    PublisherEuropean Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
    Number of pages117
    ISBN (Print)92-828-9730-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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