While the focus is often on apprenticeships (FT October 23rd) to explain the German productivity problem as if the skills and knowledge of an apprentice makes the difference, but it is the ability to solve technical problems rapidly with robust solutions is what counts. The German productivity improvement ability is one based on having a high quality buffer of skills around their key business processes with an ability and authority to make changes to improve those self same processes. At a detailed level you find that the application and deployment of technical skills more effective in Germany, and also the flow of talented school leavers is greater into technical roles is higher than in the UK. The UK’s focus on higher education and university access does not necessary build a strong, sustainable economy.
Dr Michael Cross