Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel (3rd from left) and Education Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka (1st from left) join with the business, trade union and Länder representatives to seal the new Alliance for Initial and Further Training.
© BMWK/Susanne Eriksson

The dual vocational training system is a factor driving the success and competitiveness of Germany's economy. The training provided is so close to actual working life that it sets young people up well for the world of work and, via further training options, opens up a variety of prospects for their careers and lives. This means that vocational training is an important foundation and precondition for meeting the skills requirements of the German economy.

In order to strengthen vocational training, the Federal Government sealed the new Alliance for Initial and Further Training with business, trade union and Länder representatives in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on 12 December 2014. The new Alliance for Initial and Further Training replaces the National Pact for Training and Skilled Recruits, which expired at the end of 2014.

Improving and strengthening the dual system

The partners in the Alliance have a shared interest in continuing to improve the dual system of vocational training in Germany and in highlighting even more clearly its significance and the opportunities it generates for careers and skilled employment. The business community, the trade unions, the Federation and the Länder want to work together in the Alliance for Initial and Further Training and ensure that vocational training remains fit for the future and promote it amongst young people and their parents, in schools and higher education institutions, and in society in general.

The partners' joint objectives

The partners agree that they wish to work together to improve the situation on the vocational training market. They will work together both to attract more high-achieving young people into vocational training and to make it possible for more young people with worse initial prospects, young people with migration-related problems, and people with disabilities to enter vocational training. The new instrument of assisted training particularly aims to support small and medium-sized enterprises which offer training to lower-achieving young people.

The partners in the Alliance have identified strategic fields of action and agreed on measures. These aim

  • to clearly enhance the significance and attractiveness of vocational training in Germany,
  • to further reduce the number of young people without a school-leaving certificate,
  • to provide each person interested in training with a "path" - in the context of the training guarantee addressed in the Coalition agreement - which can lead him or her as quickly as possible to a vocational qualification,
  • to achieve a lasting reduction in the mismatch between applicants and companies, both in regional and occupational terms,
  • on the basis of better data, to increase the number of training places on offer and the number of companies willing to provide training,
  • to further reduce the number of young people in the transitional sphere, and to orient the transitional sphere to state-recognised vocational training courses as much as possible,
  • to keep developing the quality of the training,

and to strengthen further training, and particularly to strengthen upgrading training.