ENspotlight on VETGERMANY2016/17
spotlight on VETVET in GermanyVocational education and training (VET) inGermany is based on cooperation betweenState, companies and social partners. TheFederal Ministry of Education and Research(BMBF) is responsible for general VET policyissues and has a coordinating and steering rolefor all training occupations in cooperation withthe respective ministries. The BMBF also worksclosely with the Federal Institute for VocationalEducation and Training (BIBB), which conductsresearch and advises the Federal Governmentand VET providers. The Länder (federal States)are responsible for school-based parts of VETand have VET committees with employer andemployee representatives.The apprenticeship programme (dual system)at upper secondary level (EQF level 4) is themain pillar of VET. It usually lasts three years andcombines the two learning venues, companiesand vocational schools (work-based learningshare approximately 70%). There are no basicaccess requirements for participating in thedual VET programme, but an apprenticeshipcontract must be concluded between learnerand company. Enterprises bear the costs ofcompany-based training and pay learners awage. Those successfully completing trainingare qualified to be employed as skilled workers.Progression is possible through various VETprogrammes offered at post-secondary andtertiary level (see below).Parallel to the apprenticeships, there areschool-based VET programmes at uppersecondary level (EQF level 2 to 4) which differin terms of access, length, types and levels ofqualifications they lead to. These include: programmes at full-time vocational schools(Berufsfachschule, duration one to three yearsdepending on the type and level of qualification),for example: schools for non-academicoccupations in the healthcare sector. Minimumentrance requirement is the lower secondarygeneral school certificate (Hauptschulabschluss); general upper secondary programmes with avocational component which usually lead to thegeneral higher education entrance qualification(Berufliches Gymnasium/Fachgymnasium, durationtwo to three years). Entrance requirement is theintermediate level certificate (Realschulabschluss).At post-secondary level, specialisedprogrammes (Berufsoberschulen andFachschulen) build upon the intermediateschool-leaving certificate or initial VET andimpart deeper occupational knowledge (durationone to three years). These lead to entrancequalifications for universities of applied sciences.At tertiary level, vocationally qualifiedapplicants without a school-based highereducation entrance qualification can accessadvanced vocational training (AVT) leading toqualifications at EQF level 6, such as mastercraftsperson, technical engineer, certified seniorclerk (Meister, Techniker, Fachwirt). AVT is at theheart of the VET system. It confers the right toexercise a trade independently, to hire and trainapprentices and to enter university education.It also facilitates the acquisition of middlemanagement qualifications in companies.Courses to prepare for these advanced VETqualifications are offered by chambers orschools (Fachschulen, master craftsmanschools). Access to the respective assessmentgenerally requires several years of practice inthe related occupation.The idea of dual practice-oriented learning isbecoming more important in higher education (atEQF levels 6-7). Dual study programmes providea blend of vocational and academic training,offered by universities of applied sciences(duration three to four years) and other highereducation institutions (Berufsakademien, dualeHochschule), leading to double qualifications(vocational qualification and bachelor degreesor bachelor/master degree). Enterprisesparticipating in programmes offered by theBerufsakademie bear the costs of the companybased training and pay learners a wage.Continuing training is playing an increasinglyimportant role in improving employability. It ischaracterised by a wide variety of providers(training market) and a comparatively low degreeof regulation by the State.
VET in Germany’s education and training systemTERTIARY LEVELADULT LEARNING/CONTINUING TRAINING(outside the school system)EQF 8PhD programmes, duration variesISCED 844EQF 7EQF 7Masterprogrammes,2 years13 Masterprogrammes2 yearsISCED 645Bachelorprogrammes3-4 yearsIT-Professional,ISCED 645EQF 6Bachelorprogrammes3-4 yearsEQF 6,ISCED 645,ISCED 645EQF 6Meister,technician, etc.qualificationsexaminationsISCED 655ISCED 554, 655ISCED 444, 453, 45419131812171116101610159148Lower secondary programmes,at Gymnasium, Realschule and Gesamtschule,4 years7ISCED 24413Bachelorprogrammes3-4 yearsEQF 6Technician,Fachwirt, etc.qualificationsSpecialised programmes,1-3 yearsPOST-SECONDARYLEVELAGEEQF 6-7,ISCED 747EQF 6Bachelorprogrammes,3-4 years19 ,ISCED 747EQF 6Training coursesby private providersEQF 7Masterprogrammes2 yearsISCED 747Courses forunemployed andother vulnerablegroupsCVETfor employeesGeneraleducationprogrammes,2-3 years ISCED 344General educ.programmes withvocational orientation,2-3 yearsISCED 344EQF 4Apprenticeshipprogrammes,2-3.5 yearsEQF 2-4Schoolbased VETprogrammes, 1-3 yearsEQF 1-2ISCED 354Transition progr., 1 year ISCED 254EQF 2ISCED 354SECONDARY LEVELLower secondary programmes,at Hauptschule and Gesamtschule3 years (4 years in one federal state)ISCED 244YEARS in E&TGeneral education programmesProfessional experience required to enterVET programmesGiving access to higher educationProgrammes combining VET and general educationAccess to HE is limited, only from/to some programmesAlso available to adultsPossible progression routesOfficially recognised vocational qualificationsPrior education may be recognised affecting programme durationQualifications allowing access to the next educational levelAccess restricted to certain related subjectsEnd of education and training obligationAt universities of applied scienceAt duale HochschuleEnd of compulsory educationAt Fachschule/Fachakademie,duration variesAt ononthetheunifiedapproachfor spotlightsthe spotlightsoninVETin all EU-28countriesplus Icelandand Norway.NB: This is aa simplifiedunifiedapproachusedusedfor theon VETall EU-28countriesplus Icelandand urce: Cedefop.
GERMANYDistinctive features of VETGermany’s VET is seen as a successful model,largely based on the dual system and especiallythanks to the successful apprenticeshipleading to high-quality vocational qualifications.Apprenticeship enables smooth educationto-work transitions, resulting in low youthunemployment (2015: 7.2% of aged 15 to 24versus 20.4% in the EU-28). An about one intwo secondary school graduates chooses avocational education programme; of those,70% participate in apprenticeship. A growingshare has a higher education entrancequalification, which shows the attractivenessof apprenticeship. Dual study programmes attertiary level and advanced vocational trainingsupport the acquisition of middle and topmanagement qualifications in companies.Germany’s well-trained skilled workers are aprerequisite of its economic success.National standards and training regulations(curricula for both in-company and schoolbased components) assure the success of thedual training programmes. Companies providetraining in accordance with the vocationaltraining regulations, developed by the fourstakeholders (Federal and State governments,companies and trade unions). These regulationsallow for flexibility to agree on company trainingplans with apprentices. Learning at vocationalschool is based on a framework curriculumaligned with training regulations, drawn up forevery recognised training occupation.Regular revisions to training regulationsguarantee keeping pace with rapid technologicaland organisational changes. The initiativefor updating or developing an entirely newoccupational profile comes from social partnersor BIBB. After consultation with all partiesinvolved, the competent federal ministry decideswhether to proceed. Cooperation between Stateand social partners is a core element of VET:social dialogue and shared decisions are themeans to ensure that VET reforms are accepted.Another particularity of the German VETsystem is its approach to how to acquirevocational competences, the so-called conceptof ‘vocational action competence’: a holistic andintegrated approach to competence acquisitionduring VET compared to the acquisition ofisolated skills and competences based on thelearning-outcomes approach of the Europeanqualifications framework (EQF).Challenges and policyresponsesImproving transitions from generaleducation to VETThe number of unfilled training placesrecently increased again, showing a need forreconciling supply and demand while takinginto account significant regional and branchspecific differences. Individual assistance forunsuccessful applicants and guidance for SMEsare provided in case of problems with matching.The Alliance for Initial and Further Training hascommitted to integrating all applicants in VET,including those with unfavourable starting chances,through pre-VET measures, assistance and supportduring training. To prevent training dropouts, seniorexperts provide individual coaching to apprentices.Modernising and developing newoccupational profiles in view of digitalisationDigital innovation has an impact on qualificationprofiles and curricula. The Vocational training4.0 initiative identifies changing demands inthe qualification of skilled workers and how torespond to the challenge of digitalisation.Increasing the attractiveness of VETA large multimedia information campaignon apprenticeship was relaunched and earlyvocational orientation guidance in schools isnow widely implemented from grade 7. OnlineVET portals are addressing specific targetgroups like young women or university dropouts.Integrating migrants and refugees intoeducation and trainingSince 2015, more than one million asylumseekers have arrived in Germany. Theirintegration into the labour market and VETsystem is a priority: enabling German languagelearning, validating formal and non-formal skills,providing vocational orientation and access toVET, apprenticeships and employment. Existingprogrammes addressing disadvantaged groups(such as migrants) extended their focus toinclude refugees and new programmes wereinitiated specifically for this group.
GERMANYEducation and training in figuresVOCATIONALUpper secondarystudents (ISCED 2011level 3) enrolled invocational and generalprogrammes% of all studentsin upper secondaryeducation, DEFRMTSource: Cedefop calculations, based on Eurostat, UOE data collection on education systems,date of extraction 2.6.2017.Lifelong learning% of population aged25 to 64 participating ineducation and trainingover the four weeks priorto the survey, 20163530252015E&T 2020 PLROSource: Eurostat, EU labour force survey, date of extraction 2.6.2017.2015Early leavers fromeducation and training% of the populationaged 18 to 24 with atmost lower secondaryeducation and who werenot in further educationor training during the lastfour weeks prior to thesurvey, 201625Employment rates ofyoung graduates% of 20 to 34 years oldno longer in educationand training, 20161002020 NATIONAL TARGET20EUROPE 2020 10.210.719.6LTPLATNLFRDEEU-28MT45.749.0Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey, date of extraction PLFRUpper vocational secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education (levels 3 and 4)Upper general secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education (levels 3 and 4)Less than primary, primary and lower secondary education (levels 0-2)Source: Eurostat, EU labour force survey, date of extraction 0.987.065.288.4087.32093.640EL
spotlight on VETGERMANYENFurther information Cedefop ReferNet Germany (2016). VET in Europe – Country rts Eurydice (2016). Germany: /eurydice/index.php/Germany:overview BIBB (2016). Datenreport zum Berufsbildungsbericht. Bonn.https://www.bibb.de/dokumente/pdf/bibb datenreport 2016.pdf BMBF (2016). Berufsbildungsbericht 2016. Bonn, ht 2016.pdf BMBF (2012). Getting ahead through advanced vocational training. German backgroundreport on the OECD study ‘Skills beyond school’. Bonn.https://www.bmbf.de/pub/getting ahead through advanced vocational mlwww.bmwi.de/EN/root.htmlReferNet GermanyFederal Institute for Vocational Education andTraining (BIBB)Federal Ministry of Education and Research(BMBF)Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länderin der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (KMK)Federal Ministry of Labour and Social AffairsFederal Ministry for Economic AffairsThis Spotlight is based on input from BIBB (ReferNet Germany 2016/17).Europe 123, 570 01 Thessaloniki (Pylea), GREECEPO Box 22427, 551 02 Thessaloniki, GREECETel. 30 2310490111, Fax 30 2310490020, E-mail: [email protected] European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), 2017All rights reserved.visit our portal www.cedefop.europa.eu8116 EN – TI-02-17-882-EN-N – doi:10.2801/85706www.refernet.de/html/en/index.php
depending on the type and level of qualification), for example: schools for non-academic occupations in the healthcare sector. Minimum entrance requirement is the lower secondary general school certificate (Hauptschulabschluss); general upper secondary program