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Dual vocational training

Much in demand beyond Germany's borders as well as at home

Many countries around the world are interested in Germany’s successful "dual vocational training" model. The Central Office for International Vocational Training Cooperation helps them establish industry-based vocational training in conjunction with German partners.

Trainees at HBS Elektrobau GmbH in Schleiz, Thuringia. Many trainees come from Spain, Romania and Hungary. Dual vocational training in Germany - a model that is much in demand at international level Photo: Burkhard Peter

This new office has been established at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) on the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In future the office will coordinate all international vocational training cooperation activities.

Interest around the globe in Germany’s system of vocational training has risen exponentially. It is thus helpful if the exchange of information on the various activities of private businesses, the foreign offices of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and German chambers of commerce abroad is properly coordinated. 

Combating youth unemployment in the EU

"Germany’s dual training system is very much in demand throughout the world because of the highly successful way it combines theoretical instruction with practical skills acquisition. The new office puts in place permanent structures for international vocational training cooperation. This will enable us to do our bit to help combat youth unemployment in Europe and to foster the training of skilled specialists worldwide," declared Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Some 5.6 million young people in the EU are currently unemployed. In Germany places for trainees are still vacant and companies are desperately seeking skilled workers. Many German companies also produce outside Germany, and experience difficulties in finding the qualified staff they need. That is why numerous German businesses are engaged in vocational training outside Germany.

One-stop shop for information and advice

In recent years the EU and a rising number of countries around the world have increasingly aligned reforms of their own vocational training systems to the German model. In an effort to provide support, on 3 July 2013 the German government adopted a strategy paper on the establishment of a one-stop shop for international vocational training cooperation.

The new office is to support an exchange of information among the private businesses, German chambers of commerce abroad and other partners involved. It will provide professional advice to all partners. Bilateral cooperation projects in the field of vocational training are to be developed and new projects initiated. Successful examples of good cooperation are also to be rolled out.

Initially bilateral working groups are to be put in place with Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. The first step will be to identify beacon projects – these might, for instance, be businesses that are already engaged in training young people. Parallel to this, educational facilities suited to providing the theoretical instruction are being identified.

Round table coordinated

What standards should be applied for vocational training outside Germany? How can training elements be integrated into in-company operations outside Germany? How can private businesses or education providers be encouraged to deliver vocational training based on the German model?

A round table helps coordinate activities in the field of bilateral international vocational training cooperation. It brings together representatives of the German ministries involved, chambers of commerce, industry and skilled crafts, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the individual German federal states. They discuss how comparable training standards can be developed, and reflect on the campaigns to adopt in partner countries in order to drum up support for this vocational training model with its strong element of hands-on, company-based training.

Thursday, 12. September 2013

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