OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.


Impact of apprenticeships on individuals and firms

Lessons for evaluating Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland

This review summarises existing studies evaluating the impact of apprenticeships on individuals and firms and provides a brief overview of relevant evaluations in three related policy areas: education; active labour market programmes; and private on-the-job training. Based on the reviewed literature, it draws a number of lessons that are relevant for evaluating apprenticeship programmes in OECD member countries, such as the Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland. First, rigorous evaluation depends on the existence of suitable, high-quality data. Second, the measured effects of apprenticeships depend on the time elapsed since the end of the training period. Third, the outcomes most commonly examined in the existing literature are wages and the probability of employment. Fourth, it is important to employ methods that take into account not only observed but also unobserved individual characteristics. Finally, comparing apprentices to different “control groups” might provide different and complementary evidence on the impact of apprenticeships.


Keywords: impact, evaluation, training, return to schooling, apprenticeships
JEL: M53: Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics / Personnel Economics / Personnel Economics: Training; I26: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Returns to Education; J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
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