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FORTHCOMING

Unlocking the Potential of Migrants in Germany

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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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FORTHCOMING

Executive summary

This study explores how vocational education and training (VET) systems can best respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by migration. The focus is on Germany and how it is responding to the 1.5 million migrants arriving in search of humanitarian protection during 2015-16. The arrival of this disproportionately young group of people represents a significant opportunity. Germany is an ageing society experiencing skills shortages. It cannot be taken for granted, however, that new arrivals will succeed in VET. The barriers they face are considerable: familiarity with, or interest in, VET is commonly limited; relevant social networks are routinely weak; and the knowledge and skills required to enter and benefit from VET, notably in terms of language capability, is often insufficient. Targeted interventions can address such challenges, helping to improve provision for all learners at risk of poor outcomes. In responding to migrant needs, German VET can become more inclusive without reducing quality. Germany has already devoted significant attention to VET as a mechanism to enable integration - and for good reason. Work-based learning enables integration because it demonstrably gives learners skills that employers want in real-world settings.

English

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