Minister Altmaier visits the vocational school of PT ASTRA International Tbk in Jakarta.

Minister Altmaier visits the vocational school of PT ASTRA International Tbk in Jakarta.

© BMWi

In Germany, companies successfully secure the skills they need for the future in the context of the dual vocational training system. In contrast, many countries worldwide build on vocational training models in schools and universities. Against this background, many German firms operating abroad are encountering difficulties in recruiting a sufficient number of qualified young staff – and this affects these companies' innovativeness and competitiveness in the long term.

Training workers abroad in line with German standards

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched the 'Skills Experts' programme so that German companies operating abroad can train the local workers they need in line with the dual vocational training system. The programme helps in particular small and medium-sized enterprises abroad to train local workers with intermediate-level qualifications in the context of needs-based practical training.

Skills experts are based at the bilateral chambers of industry and commerce, helping them to establish vocational training activities that meet the needs of German companies. The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) as programme partner guarantees standards in the field of vocational training that are recognised worldwide and their certification in line with the German system.

Skills experts and bilateral chambers of industry and commerce – a strong team for the training of local workers

The establishment of active, local networks is indispensable for practical vocational training. Therefore the bilateral chambers of industry and commerce are serving as an important bridge for German firms, companies in the partner countries and national training providers. Owing to their close link with the chambers in Germany, which are responsible for vocational training pursuant to the Vocational Training Act and the Crafts Code, they are able to offer needs-based, high-quality vocational training services – in line with the German dual vocational training system. In the medium term, the aim is to provide self-financing services by the bilateral chambers of industry and commerce in the field of initial and further vocational training.

The 'Skills Experts' programme was launched in January 2017 in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Viet Nam. Kenya joined the programme in November 2017. The Delegation Of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya has now successfully introduced its first dual training course for chefs and specialists in the hotel business. In March 2019, the programme was officially launched in Africa and extended to cover the following countries: Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

AHK vocational training award

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the bilateral chamber in Croatia held the conference “Wir gestalten Berufsbildung #gemeinsam” (We design vocational training #together) in Sarajevo on 5 February 2019 and in Zagreb on 7 February 2019, and presented the AHK vocational training award for the first time at their traditional New Year reception. The prize was inaugurated as part of the ‘Skills Experts’ programme funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The goal is to recognise programmes and initiatives which are characterised by a high level of ‘duality’ – i.e. the combination of theoretical and practical learning – and present them to a wider audience. The following points are assessed: duality, innovation, quality, social purpose and sustainability.

Out of 31 joint applications by companies and vocational schools from the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the jury selected four prize-winners. Two first places went to Mann+Hummel BA d.d. Tešanj together with the Mješovita srednja škola Tešanj and to MS&Wood d.d. Fojnica together with the Srednja mješovita škola ‘Zijah Dizdarević’ Fojnica.

The first AHK vocational training award in Croatia went to HAIX Obuća d.o.o, a manufacturer of functional footwear, and the Čakovec business school. Second place was shared by Kostwein proizvodnja strojeva d.o.o. / Varaždin mechanical engineering and transport school, and Harburg-Freudenberger Belišće / Osijek mechanical engineering school.