15.09.2017

But it could indeed make sense to adopt certain aspects or even the core notion – although one always has to consider whether it fits in with the entrepreneurial and labour culture in the respective countries in the first place. And also how the countries seek to organise their training systems themselves.

Has school education equipped the young people with the abilities they need for training or to attain a higher qualification?

Given the large number of countries and regions, one can’t generalise here. A very large number of schools certainly do provide very good education. But for several reasons, on average, education in rural regions in particular often lacks the quality to ensure that young people have the necessary basic mathematical and linguistic skills. Furthermore, those who have enjoyed good education usually do not take up a practical profession but wish to study. Many young people fail to recognise what a vocational qualification is really worth. Especially in the countries of the Global South, they expect university education to provide them with a better income. Unlike Germany, many other countries have not gained the experience that skilled workers can earn good wages. Furthermore, practical professions do not enjoy such high prestige, an aspect that applies in particular to agriculture.

What other problems are companies seeking to provide training at local level confronted with?

One challenge is the general increase in fluctuation. If a company has become specialised in a certain area and possibly also made major investments and the young people then leave after two years, this is of course a problem. On the other hand, many companies running practical training in the context of collaborative schemes with the chambers of foreign trade or iMove – a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) initiative for international co-operation in vocational education and training – have told me that the benefits are higher than the risk.