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.



Exploring increased flexibility in the vocational education and training system in Germany

This chapter explores the possibility for more flexible approaches to vocational education and training (VET) in order to meet the needs of struggling learners, including recent arrivals. As some learners are struggling to move through the VET system with a formal qualification, there can be opportunity to discuss alternative pathways through VET for particular groups. Increased flexibility can be more effective learners who are less likely to be admitted and complete a standard VET track. The development of new means of entry into VET can be linked, moreover, to sectors of the labour market which are experiencing skill shortage and are in need of recruiting apprentices. Learning from experiences locally in Germany and from other OECD countries, such flexible approaches include consideration of shorter qualification as a stepping stone towards a full qualification, prolonging the duration of apprenticeship training for specific groups, as well as a modularised approaches.


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