Economic development, growth and employment

Vocational education and training

Student der Hilfsorganisation 'Menschen für Menschen' beim Unterricht in der Metallverarbeitung, Harar, Äthiopien. Urheberrecht:

Education and the lifelong de­vel­op­ment of professional and social abilities and skills have become key factors in ensuring competitiveness in our global economy. The co­op­er­a­tion coun­tries of German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion urgently need qualified workers if they are to hold their own against world­wide competitors in the long term.

In many coun­tries, though, the existing vocational training systems do not meet the needs of today's society and economy: training is not geared to the standards required on the labour market and is not sufficiently practice-oriented, curricula are out-dated, and the vocational training infra­struc­ture is generally in­ade­quate in terms of both quality and quantity.

The different economic structures in transition states, emerging economies and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries are marked by the coexistence of modern branches of industry and traditional skilled crafts and trading structures. Upgrading systems must then offer differentiated courses. This applies quite specifically to the branches of the future like renewable energies, en­viron­mental protection and con­ser­va­tion of natural resources, and the con­comitant imperatives of supplying the entire popu­la­tion with food and water.

Holistic approach to reform

Germany is increasingly putting together vocational training packages as part of holistic approaches to reform entire education systems. These take into account in particular the transitions to other parts of the education system, and to the labour market, as well as the interfaces to the eco­nom­ic and employ­ment policies of the coun­try in question. German support is geared to the key features of the tried and tested German dual vocational training system, in which training is partly school-based and partly industry-based. The focus is on de­vel­op­ing vocational training systems to bring them into line with the needs of the labour market, as well as devising quality standards and establishing in-service training programmes for teaching staff, education planners and school directors.

Capacity de­vel­op­ment instruments foster the potentials of local institutions and individuals, enabling them to implement the necessary reforms competently. The quality of vocational training is ensured by de­vel­op­ing qualification and cer­tification standards and national qualification frame­works. This makes it possible to better compare the capacities acquired and the qualifications obtained, which in turn facilitates and fosters the pro­fes­sion­al mobility of individuals and makes it possible to steer the migration of qualified specialists.

Making vocational training more attractive

Another im­por­tant precondition for success­ful learning is the learning en­vi­ron­ment itself, i.e. a properly functioning infrastructure must be in place. This is why Germany provides support to fit out vocational schools and technology competence centres. The investments generate long-term benefits and contribute directly to under­pinning the quality of vocational education and training.

By anchoring vocational training as part of a holistic educational approach, it becomes easier to move from vocational education into other higher forms of secondary and tertiary edu­cation, and vocational education becomes more attractive as a result. Increased co­op­er­a­tion with partners from industry and civil society fosters sus­tain­able economic de­vel­op­ment. Vocational education and training is an im­por­tant pillar in the integrated approach adopted by German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion to combat un­em­ploy­ment and underemployment.

For detailed information on the promotion of vocational education and training see the section on education.

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