a) School qualifications → no training → semiskilling → work b) School qualifications → apprenticeship → skilled worker/skilled employee c) Lower/intermediate secondary school qualifications → apprenticeship → master craftsman d) University entrance qualifications → apprenticeship → additional training → occupation e) University entrance qualifications → apprenticeship → higher education → executive position f) University entrance qualifications → higher education → executive position These examples illustrate that there are two ways of looking at the benefits of training.
The first, which is marginal in one sense, answers the question of what benefits are to be obtained from adding a further stage to the training path already completed. The second is more typical and concerned with the incomes to be obtained from specific training routes. A comparison is made between the incomes attained at 30 years of age and those resulting from the next lower training path. This may be, for example, the benefits of an enterprise-based apprenticeship on the road to an academic qualification (path 6 compared with path 5). The additional income minus the costs of training produces (allowing for interest) the return on the training investment.
From a macroeconomic viewpoint, investments in education and training are, to a certain degree, investments in the infrastructure, and the return on such investments becomes apparent only in the long term. The concept of benefits also includes other aspects which need to be kept apart. It is helpful in the first instance to distinguish between the benefits resulting from the efficiency of the education system and its quantitative performance, on the one hand, and the benefits in terms of subsequent yields (economic growth, low unemployment, tax revenues) on the other. The efficiency benefit is the ability of the education and training system to train the younger generation in "suitable" institutions so as to minimize the...
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