Dual system of professional training: keystone of made in Germany? Notes du Cerfa, No. 143, Ifri, July 2018
The German dual system of professional training is seen as an international reference model. It aims at training qualified employees for an innovative economy rather than being the last resort for less able pupils. Parents and adolescents regard apprenticeships as an entry ticket to a good job with career opportunities; companies value the advantages of practice-oriented training in situ conceived in cooperation with its own professionals as this spares them the costs of integrating school graduates.
The modernisation of professional training in combination with more flexible forms of work organisation partly explain the recovery of the German economy in the mid-90s. Social partners and politicians feel responsible for the creation of adequate numbers of apprenticeship positions – even when year groups are particularly large or in times of crisis. Contrary to the situation in many other countries, young people in Germany do therefore not become outsiders that carry the burden of crises.
However, the problems of the dual system cannot be ignored. The undermining of the German collective wage system that is unable to guarantee appropriate wages has led school graduates to prefer university studies over professional training schemes. Particularly in the poor wage sectors apprenticeships are becoming less and less attractive.
This article is available in French and German only:
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