chapter
9 Pages

Industrial training and technological innovation: an introduction

This book is about the origins and development of training systems and how training arrangements have affected technological innovation. A central theme is that education and training have a significant influence on the capacity for technological and other types of innovation which in turn have greatly affected the business performance of firms and the international competitiveness of national economies. The essays show how Britain’s education and training arrangements carried a heavy burden of their nineteenth century origins. By comparison, in the United States, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, an educational system developed, especially at the higher level, which was more attuned to the needs of business and conducive to innovation. Simultaneously, within large firms, many American employers developed their own internal training arrangements for managers, technical staffs, and skilled blue collar workers. Later, in Japan, the state created an educational system and large companies developed training arrangements which have allowed Japanese industry in the twentieth century to transform itself from being overwhelmingly an importer of technologies to being today a major developer and exporter of new products and processes.