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Germany  [1]  Context of national VET/HRD policies

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The updated Vocational Training Act (2005) and VET research

The 2005 updated Vocational Training Act is regulating company-based VET in Germany; it has also re-defined tasks of VET research. One important research task is the provision of training statistics. Federal statistics shall be compiled for the purposes of planning and organising vocational training. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the Federal Employment Agency shall assist the Federal Statistical Office in the technical and methodological preparation of such statistics. The Federal Institute is establishing a research data centre which will make statistical data available for the wider VET research community. 

KIBB – Kommunikations- und Informationssystem Berufliche Bildung (communication and information system for VET)

For three years the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training has been working on the establishment of a knowledge management system for the German VET research. It is funded by the Ministry for Education and Research and is offering services to policy makers, researchers as well as the wider VET public. The services include answering actual requests from policy, providing research results by themes, promoting co-operation between researchers in the German VET research network (AGBFN). The core of KIBB is the Knowledge Map with seven themes: (1) Initial and continuing education and training system, (2) Early identification of skill trends, (3) Supply, demand, occupational paths, (4) Funding policy and evaluation, (5) Teaching and learning, (6) Transfer of knowledge, (7) International VET. (http://www.bibb.de/en/print/wlk/htm

Bildungsbericht - First Integrated report on the Education System

For the first time an integrated report on the status quo and the development of the German education system has been produced on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Standing Conference of the Ministries for Cultural Affairs of the Länder. The report gives a general view of education from early childhood to old age. The report provides a problem-orientated analysis based on indicators. The indicators relate to sets of data which can be up-dated continuously and allow for inter-Laender and international comparisons. The report marks the beginning of a recurrent bi-annual reporting on the different sectors of the education and training system. The findings are presented with graphics and tables. The first report includes a chapter focussing on migration. One important finding in the chapter on VET is the remarkable growth of a “transition system” (Übergangssystem) between general education and formal VET. This “system” comprises  a wide range of preparatory courses, employment agency schemes, full-time vocational schooling etc. that don’t lead to a recognised qualification. In 2005 more than 400.000 young people were in this sector. In relation to this “system” the report recommends improved links between the various schemes and programmes, including recognition of learning and credit transfer. (www.bildungsbericht.de)

Platforms on Innovation in VET and Continuing Education

The Ministry of Education and Research has launched two platforms on innovation to identify the actual challenges for the German education system and set priorities for policy action. The platforms involve representatives from federal and state government level, social partners, employers, innovative practice and research. The forum on VET has defined four priority areas: modernising the system in response to structural changes in employment and society; managing the transition from school-to-work; improving transfer and progression; Europeanising the VET system (integrating trans-national mobility into regular training, European modules/ qualifications, European credit transfer, EQF and NQF). The second forum dealing with continuing education has identified the following priorities: scientific continuing education for skilled workers, continuing education for low achievers, education accounts, recognition of informally acquired competences. Recommendations from the two platforms are expected in summer 2007.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Germany (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO