The world looks to Germany’s successful dual apprenticeship model

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German ApprenticesGermany is a world leader in TVET reform and progress.  It’s always been an important part of the education system in Germany.  In 2014 alone, over half a million students went through Germany’s dual model TVET system, which pairs firm-based training with a school component.  But, it’s the country’s broader qualification structure that sets it apart.

Apprenticeships have been attributed to low youth unemployment, illustrating the success of Germany’s dual system.  Recent talks, however, are exploring the need for VET to have ‘some kind of link with higher education.’

For the past three decades, Germany has supported the International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC).  And the country continues its momentum with the signing of a € 825,000 funding agreement with UNESCO.

Another partnership has been formed between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The purpose of this alliance is to increase actions to promote TVET in Asia, among other things.

Plans are being made to better match education and training with the skills that employers are demanding and to encourage workplace-based training.  Empowering women is also central to this discussion, which coincides with Germany’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative.

Policy makers from Germany were present at last year’s knowledge sharing event in South Africa.  It was an exchange of ideas, strategies, trends, challenges, and good practices – as a way of leveraging each other’s wins.

The event was organised by the Governance Support Programme (GSP), which is implemented by GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Entwicklung GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The three days saw counterparts exchange ideas on roles, strategies and mechanisms guiding the interventions of central organisations responsible for Public Service, in the area of human resource planning and development.

The German Development Cooperation has a long history of supporting public service reforms in South Africa in cooperation with the Department of Public Service Administration, the National School of Government and other key institutions such as the Public Service Commission and the Presidency.

Germany and innovation go hand-in-hand.  They’re always been world leaders when it comes to pushing the envelope. Its TVET system is considered one of the best in the world; with 60% of its graduates getting hired by their training firms.  The dual structure makes for a smoother transition into the labour market.

Interested in talking about how we might be able to assist you with uncovering VET market opportunities, VET workforce development, and engaging employers and industry?  Contact Wendy Perry via

April 2017


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