chapter  4
15 Pages

‘A certain short-sightedness’: metalworking, innovation, and apprenticeship, 1897–1939

Apprenticeship is central to the economic and social history of the British staple industries. In engineering and shipbuilding apprenticeship was a vital counter in the struggle between employers and craft workers to determine the impact of technical change on work organisation and the shifting balance of power in the labour market. The relationship between training and technical change in these industries must be placed, therefore, in the context of industrial structure, competitiveness, and the strategies of the individual enterprise, employers’ organisations, and trade unions.