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Unlocking the Potential of Migrants in Germany

image of Unlocking the Potential of Migrants in Germany

The German vocational education and training (VET) system is admired around the world for its ability to prepare young people for skilled employment. In Germany, VET smooths transitions into work and is closely aligned with labour market demand. This report focuses on an unprecedented test of the German VET system: how to respond to the significant increase in migrants who arrived in the country in 2015-16. The study explores both the opportunities and the challenges presented by migration. Germany has already devoted significant attention to VET as a mechanism for enabling integration – and for good reason. Work-based learning assists integration because it demonstrably gives learners skills that employers want in real-world settings. The report assesses the barriers faced by learners in their journeys into and through VET, exploring how such challenges can be addressed. In addition, the study looks at system-wide issues in relation to how VET provision and integration policy is governed. Lastly, it explores opportunities for increased flexibility in the German VET system of relevance to all youth at risk of not succeeding in VET. In responding to migrant needs, German VET can become more inclusive without reducing quality.

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Overview: Unlocking the potential of migrants through vocational education and training in Germany

This chapter gives an overview of the study, and highlights how the recent inflow of migrants can represent both challenges and opportunities for Germany. The chapter further outlines the situation of the apprenticeship market in Germany, discussing supply and demand issues, regional and occupational mismatches and future labour market needs for vocational education and training (VET) occupations. It then provides a short overview of the asylum system in Germany and describes the educational background and aspirations of both recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees, as well as natives with immigrant parents, and their entry into the VET system. Further, the chapter sums up key strengths and challenges that Germany is facing in using VET to integrate migrants, and concludes with listing the policy pointers that are identified in the report.

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