Based on a comparative analysis of the education and work experiences transition to post-communism, the authors argue that, far from catching up with the rest of Germany, the social polarizations and erosion of the traditional "dual system" of vocational education and training in Eastern Germany may portend the future for the West. The issues raised have considerable resonances with the problems and contradictions which have beset British education and training and labour market policy in the 1990s.
KAREN EVANS is Professor of Post-Compulsory Education at the University of Surrey. She is currently research director of further comparative studies of young adults in England and the new Germany as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's 'Youth Citizenship and Social Change Programme', 1998-2002. MARTINA BEHRENS is Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. She has carried out international comparative studies on skill formation, social attitudes and life transitions in Germany and England. JENS KALUZA is Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. He has conducted research into labour market and occupational changes in the new Ldnder, and comparative studies on youth transitions in Germany and England.