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Day 1: Bonn, Germany
After a few travel hiccups, lost bags, and trains to all the wrong places, our delegation settled into Germany. After a lively dinner on Sunday night, we rested up to learn all we can from Go-VET and our German partners.
On Monday morning, we started our journey on this incredible learning exchange with the German government. Our two state delegation, from Michigan and New York, includes a diverse set of stakeholders. From our two associations, organized labor, private industry, local workforce boards and business engagement professionals, and apprenticeship experts. In addition to learning from our new colleagues in Germany, we are also getting an unprecedented experience to learn from and along side partners from the U.S.
Day 1 was spent in full day meetings with the federal government, speaking with the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (Go-VET). The equivalents the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education
The three biggest takeaways:
Business is the center of the workforce system in Germany. This isn't just a demand driven system it is a employer-led, employer-invested and employer-promoted system.
The German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (Go-VET) is well respected, resourced, and connected to the business demand. Go-VET is driven by data and research including estimating ROI for investment in apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship, although standardized at the national level, is far more flexible to be responsive to industry need. Apprenticeships are found in nearly all sectors from banking to hair dressing to trades to IT. They are implemented not by collaboration, but by cooperation. Something our group found to be an important distinction. We walked away with a feeling the stakeholders are "in it together".
Overall, this is certainly not a perfect model -- as you will hear in the podcast they have many of the same challenges we do; however there is much we can learn from the employer-directed approach.
To view more information (in English) about the German Model as presented by the federal gov't check out:
Presentations on the German "Dual Model" and ROI calculations: https://www.bibb.de/govet/en/54879.php
Data and Analysis from Go-VET: https://www.bibb.de/datenreport/en/index.php