Vocational Education and Training in the Chemical Industry in Germany and the United Kingdom

Working Paper 242

The chemical industry is dependent on continual innovation. The proportion of chemical industry sales devoted to research and development in Europe, which decreased from 2.4 percent in 1995 to 1.9 percent in 2002, depends on talented human capital. Since 1996, the numbers of chemistry graduates in the European chemical industry have fallen by about 10 per cent each year. Not only have the number of people seeking chemistry degrees dropped, but more of those completing chemical science degrees are seeking careers outside the sector. This working paper explores, via case studies in Germany and the United Kingdom, the preconditions and structures involved in supporting the entry of qualified people into the chemical industry, and keeping their skills current throughout their careers.