Employers' education policy principles


A good education is the basis for personal development, for participation in society and for a fulfilling professional life. As a society, we must do everything we can to ensure that our education system is as good as it can be. Because this is where the key to our future lies.

Ingo Kramer, former President of the Employers' Association, Managing Director J. Heinr. Kramer Holding GmbH

Digitalization and demographic change are shaping society and the world of work. In order to master the current and future challenges and thus secure economic success, social prosperity and social cohesion, education is the linchpin. German employers stand for the following education policy principles and orientations:

  • Education is our most important resource: individually, economically and socially. We therefore need an efficient, performance-oriented education system that not only imparts specialist knowledge but also promotes independence, initiative and a willingness to take responsibility. It must effectively support young people in their personal development to become responsible citizens.
  • Good education policy is the most effective and sustainable social policy. Nothing protects better against unemployment and nothing promotes social participation more sustainably than a completed company or university education.
  • Vocational training and academic education must not be played off against each other. As a business location, we need well-qualified, creative and motivated graduates from both fields. We need a structurally and socially permeable education system that focuses on individual support and offers everyone the opportunity to develop their own personality and individual talents.
  • Digital competences (the use, understanding, design and reflection of digital technologies) and social competences (in particular communication and team skills as well as personal responsibility) are moving to centre stage with the increasing mechanisation and networking of our working world and our everyday lives - irrespective of sector, activity or hierarchical level. All areas of education must strengthen and further develop digital skills.
  • Each type of school must provide support in such a way that as many young people as possible graduate and are ready for vocational training or university studies. A comprehensive general education at school also includes economic education and STEM education, including digital information and media skills. The number of all-day schools must be significantly increased. The backlog of renovations and equipment at many schools must be urgently eliminated by local and state governments.
  • Dual education is a cornerstone of the strength of the German economy. It offers young people, both with and without A-levels, a wide range of development opportunities and career options, right up to company management. High achievers in particular must be given access to additional qualifications, dual courses of study and advanced training. Young people with weaker performance must be better integrated into the training market through entry-level qualifications or assisted training.
  • Vocational schools are an indispensable pillar of dual training and important partners for companies. Their staffing, material and financial resources must be given high priority. Vocational schools must participate in federal and state investment and funding programmes in the same way as schools providing general education.
  • Lifelong learning must become even more the norm for everyone. The prerequisite for this is flexible, practical further training opportunities. They also serve to update technical and digital knowledge and skills. Within the framework of company personnel policy, further training promotes "digital literacy" among all employees. In the future, universities must open up even more to the target group of working people and those with vocational qualifications - also in the area of continuing education. Flexible, part-time study formats must be significantly expanded.
Without questioning the responsibility of the federal states in education, we as employers are firmly convinced: To meet the future challenges posed by demographic developments and the ever more rapidly changing world of work and life, Germany needs an education strategy that is coordinated between the federal, state and local governments - from daycare centers, schools and vocational training to higher education and continuing education.
With their fundamental position on education policy , German employers outline their vision of a modern and sustainable education system.

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6. November 2020

Education policy