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Continuing Education and Training in Germany

image of Continuing Education and Training in Germany

Germany has a strong skill development system. The country’s 15‑year‑old students performed above the OECD average in the last (2018) edition of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), continuing a trend of significant improvement since PISA’s first edition in 2000. Its adult population also has above‑average literacy and numeracy skills, according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). A strong and well-respected vocational education and training system is seen as one of the success factors behind these achievements. However, participation in learning beyond initial education lags behind other high-performing OECD countries and varies considerably across different groups of the population. This is problematic in a rapidly changing labour market, where participation in continuing education and training is a precondition for individuals, enterprises and economies to harness the benefits of these changes. This report assesses the current state of the German continuing education and training (CET) system. It examines how effectively and efficiently the system prepares people and enterprises for the changes occurring in the world of work, and identifies what changes are necessary to make the CET system more future ready. The report makes recommendations for the further development of the CET system based on international good practice.

English

Executive summary

A decade of robust economic and employment growth in Germany was brought to an abrupt end by the COVID‑19 pandemic. Already in a state of flux due to digitalisation, population ageing and the transition to a low-carbon economy, the labour market is likely to undergo further changes at an accelerating rate. Now more than ever, policymakers must support future‑ready continuing education and training systems that allow individuals and enterprises to adapt to these changes, and ensure that Germany’s strong economic performance endures, and continues to support its high standards of living and well-being.

English Also available in: German

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