Promoting dual vocational training worldwide

Many countries are looking to the German model as an effective means of combating youth unemployment.

Theory meets practice: the advantage of dual vocational training
Theory meets practice: the advantage of dual vocational training Shutterstock

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Northern Macedonia, South Africa, Vietnam: all these countries have 'skills experts' who, on the initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), are supporting the creation of a dual system of vocational training, which combines theoretical instruction with practical training. Based at the foreign chambers of commerce, these skills experts bring together companies and vocational schools. Young Kenyans, for example, are being trained as skilled workers in the catering industry. And South Africa launched a logistics course in 2020.

German companies as drivers of the development

The idea of skills experts is one of many examples of how Germany promotes vocational training worldwide in accordance with the principles of the dual system – and the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET) reports that there is a lot of interest in this system. German companies with branches in other countries are often the drivers of this development. They rely on well-trained skilled workers, like those produced by the dual system. But learning in a hands-on environment is only one element. In addition, there is close networking between social partners, business organizations and the state, nationwide quality standards on training content and teaching staff, as well as continuous evaluation.

What also makes dual vocational training attractive is its reputation as an effective way of combating youth unemployment. A comparative study published in mid-2020 by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) underlines the success of the German approach: the employment rate among 25-34-year-olds with intermediate qualifications in Germany is 88 percent, which is above the OECD average (82 percent). According to the study, the prospects for young people with a vocational qualification are better in Germany than in almost any other OECD country.

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