Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund

18.10.2017

The dual training system in Germany and social partnership

Apprentices repairing a car

Colourbox.de

After graduating from school, more than half of German youngsters start an apprenticeship instead of an academic career. The majority of them are trained in the dual system for 2 to 3.5 years — meaning they attend a vocational school for 1 or 2 days a week and learn on the job the rest of the week. Companies pay an allowance to their trainees, the height of which depends on the collective agreements in the respective occupation and ranges approximately between 500 € and 1000 € a month. Therje are no school fees. Teachers are paid by the state governments of the Länder. After a successful final exam, trainees receive a state-recognized chamber certificate (in the skilled trades: "Gesellenbrief") that provides them with good prospects on the labor market and offers venues for further academic and professional training.

Unions and employers partcipate in all decisions concerning the VET

Since the Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz, BBiG) was passed in 1969, employers, trade unions, chambers, and government bodies have worked together on the regulations governing the nation-wide system of vocational education and training (VET). Each of the more than 320 state-recognized training occupations in the dual system has a framework curriculum as well as training regulations that assure consistent quality. The cooperation of unions and employers is in effect on all levels of the dual system: from legislation to the administration of final exams. This so-called social partnership ("Sozialpartnerschaft") of unions and employers is a factor of success. The participation of the social partners in the process of updating and introducing vocational occupations guarantees that needs of the labor market are taken into consideration. Thus the dual training system is an important instrument against shortage of skilled labor and enables long-term economic success.

Social partnership in Germany's dual system of vocational education and trainin (VET)

On the basis of the Vocational Training Act employers, trade unions, and government bodies work together on all regulations concerning the dual training system in Germany Grafik: DGB NRW

One of the main problems: The vast majority of companies do not offer training positions

Compared to other countries, the German youth unemployment rate of 6.7 % is low. One of the reasons for this is the traditionally high acceptance of the VET. Still there are problems. High regional disparity characterizes the apprenticeship market, leading to matching problems. The number of companies offering dual training positions has declined during the last years: Less than 20 % of the companies participate in the dual training system, most of them are small- and middle-sized ones. In many regions there are not enough apprenticeship positions for the number of applicants. In others, companies cannot find their ideal candidates. While the number of apprentices with higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) is on the rise, graduates of lower secondary schools (Hauptschule) have increasingly problems to secure a training contract. In North Rhine-Westphalia alone there are more than 20,000 teenagers each year who cannot find any dual training position.

The Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia guarantees occupational training:

"All young people shall be given every opportunity to train for and exercise a profession."

Ausbildungsumlage: A fee for companies not participating in the dual system

To solve this problem, the DGB NRW has demanded the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia to introduce a fee (Ausbildungsumlage) for all companies that do not offer training positions. The money should then be used to support companies who train young people. In some sectors, this system has already been successfully established. But so far the government has not been willing to introduce this fee in all sectors even though the state's constitution guarantees occupational training.

Download the presentation below for more information.

17.10.2017
Presentation in English

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Germany and the Role of Unions

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Germany and the Role of Unions (PDF, 1 MB)

This presentation gives basic information on the dual training system in Germany and in North Rhine-Westphalia. It especially focuses on the role unions play, explaining the principles of social partnership between unions and employers in Germany ("Sozialpartnerschaft").


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19.10.2017
Präsentation auf Deutsch

Die duale Ausbildung in Deutschland und die Rolle von Gewerkschaften

Duale Ausbildung in Deutschland und die Rolle der Gewerkschaften.pdf (PDF, 1 MB)

Diese Präsentation gibt grundlegende Informationen zum dualen Ausbildungssystem in Deutschland und Nordrhein-Westfalen. Dabei legt sie einen besonderen Fokus auf die Rolle der Gewerkschaften und erklärt dabei, das Prinzip der Sozialpartnerschaft zwischen Gewerkschaften und Arbeitgebern in Deutschland.


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