Dual training: the key to securing skilled workers


Dual training is a cornerstone of the strength of the German economy.

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Metternich, Head of Evonik Industries AG, Chairman of the BDA Working Group on Vocational Training (together with BDI)

In-company training in the dual system offers an optimal start to a career due to the close link with the world of work. It provides companies with well-qualified skilled workers and young people with good career opportunities. Companies are therefore committed to training on a broad basis - around 80 per cent of the companies entitled to do so train apprentices; they invest a good 27 billion euros per year in their approximately 1.3 million apprentices. Not least due to the great commitment of business and industry and the close link between learning and practice, Germany has the lowest youth unemployment rate in Europe!
Ensure readiness for training
Many young people do not leave school with the necessary skills for education. Educational policy reforms must therefore improve the quality of schools. A well-founded vocational orientation is also part of being ready for vocational training. This must be firmly anchored in the school day and taught in cooperation with the business community and the Federal Employment Agency.
Modernise training structures
The occupational regulation work of the social partners (80 modernised or new training occupations in the last 10 years) must be consistently continued so that the training occupations continue to meet the current needs of practice and new fields of activity are opened up for training. In doing so, the social partners always have their sights set on precisely tailored modernisation in line with changing company requirements and processes.
In addition, the dual education system needs more flexibility, diversity and permeability in order to maintain its attractiveness. The aim is to create additional opportunities and options. In addition to promoting high-achieving young people, for example through additional qualifications, this also means creating more opportunities for low-achieving young people in the training system. What is needed are "lean", flexible occupations with less complex requirements.
Expanding digital competencies
Against the backdrop of further increasing digitalization and networking of the economy, companies must adapt their business models and processes in order to remain competitive in the future. This also has an impact on training occupations. "Digital" skills, such as process knowledge, analytical skills and the ability to interpret data correctly, are becoming increasingly important and must therefore be taught to a greater extent in the course of in-company training.
The social partners always pay attention to these needs for change when shaping regulatory policy, which is why the training regulations are formulated in a way that is open to technology, are flexible, define minimum standards and thus leave room for adaptation to different company requirements and to technical development - including digitalisation. In addition, a range of selectable additional qualifications gives companies that are differently positioned in the digitalisation process the opportunity to specifically build up skills for the digital transformation.
Improving mobility and permeability through transparency
The German Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (DQR) is a transparency instrument designed to facilitate the comparability of qualifications in Europe and improve permeability within the education system. The starting point for the development of the DQR was the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). It comprises eight qualification levels to which qualifications can be assigned. Like the EQF, the DQR has eight levels, so that the DQR and EQF levels are identical.
Since 2014, the DQR/EQR levels have gradually been shown on newly issued certificates. This information helps employers to correctly assess the level of a qualification acquired abroad, promotes cross-border skilled worker mobility and provides evidence of the high level of German vocational training. Legal claims to access to training courses, admission to examinations, credit transfer or recognition of educational outcomes are not established by the DQR as a purely transparency instrument.