Why do business service firms employ fewer apprentices? A comparison between Germany and the Netherlands

W. Smits*, Th. Zwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyses why in germany and the netherlands the share of apprentices in the business service sector is lower than in other economic sectors. A theoretical introduction surveys the potential reasons that could be responsible for this. The subsequent empirical analysis shows that the level of skill apprentices gain is the main explanation for the relatively low supply of apprenticeships in german business service enterprises. In the netherlands, the option to hire skilled employees from full-time schools instead of training apprentices seems to be crucial. For these reasons, this paper proposes to offer obligatory extra formal training in areas such as it skills and foreign languages for the apprentices in business service firms in germany in order to increase the attractiveness of the dual apprenticeship system for prospective apprentices as well as business service firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-54
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

Cite this