In a talk held by the Cambridge Assessment Network, an exam group attached to the University of Cambridge, Professor of European Industrial Relations Linda Clarke spoke about her research of more than 30 years into vocational education in the construction industry.

Professor Linda Clarke talked about how the construction sector is very different in Germany when compared to the UK.

The German model is grounded in its school system, related to the curriculum and with vocational education and training acting as a continuation of general education. By contrast, the English model is grounded in the labour market, based on employer demand, and involves minimal educational content. She summed the situation up by saying that bricklaying is a trade in England, while in most other European countries it's an occupation.

According to her, the construction industry had to change to respond to the challenge of climate change. Professor Clarke said it needed a new approach to achieve near zero emissions buildings, breaking down on-site trade divisions and adopting integrated team work instead.

She ended her talk by calling for a "new, comprehensive, regulated, inclusive and statutory vocational education and training system, based on social partnership and geared to developing individual capacity over working life – with the ability to adapt to change and to innovate”.

To read more about this topic and watch the full presentation, visit the Cambridge Assessment Network website.

About Professor Linda Clarke

Professor Linda Clarke is responsible for a distinct programme of research in the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment (ProBE), a joint research centre spanning Westminster Business School and the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

She is currently organising an event on women in construction together with the research centre. Visit the event page to book your place.

To find out more about her research interests, visit her staff profile.

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