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.


Governing the vocational education and training system in Germany

The high influx of humanitarian migrants arriving into a host country within a short time frame can challenge the governance of a system. As an integration agenda cuts across different polices, the governance structure of vocational education and training (VET) aiming integration is complex. Governing the system in a coherent and effective manner can therefore be an issue. This chapter identifies two key challenges in Germany: 1) how to ensure policy coherence across education, labour market and social policies; and 2) how to secure co-operation and peer learning across the regions. Policy options in relation to the development of an overarching strategy and the co-ordination of its delivery are proposed. Taking steps to further enhance evidence and data is important in order to inform decision making and identify good practice. Further, opportunity exists to enhance peer learning between the regions on effective and innovative practices.


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