The German dual system: a heretical view 
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The German dual system: a heretical view  book
The conventional description of the dual system is puzzling in two respects. First there is its comprehensiveness. It is effectively obligatory for all except the college-bound Gymnasium students to enter it on leaving school, and typically they do so for 3 or 3½ years. (In practice a shortage of training places has prevented a proportion of school-leavers from gaining immediate entry and programmes have been developed within formal education to accommodate the backlog.) The minimum length of an apprenticeship, for the lowest grade of shopworker, is two years. And yet studies in other countries have concluded that only a small minority of the labour force requires extended occupational training. For example, the United States National Longitudinal Survey of the High School Class of 1972 revealed that 87 per cent of high school graduates needed less than three months of occupational training, and most of the remainder needed less than six months (Sherman 1983). Perhaps, as Prais and Wagner (1983) have suggested in the case of clerical workers, the benefits of such extended training tend to be underestimated elsewhere, but nevertheless there remains a huge gap between the German conception of training and those prevalent in other countries which on the surface can only be explained in terms of the German commitment to training for cultural and social reasons.