The vocational education and training system has undergone considerable change during the past 20 years.

Large numbers of vocational preparation or partially qualifying schemes have grown up alongside the dual system of vocational education and training. Such measures, however, only offer successful transitions to vocational training leading to a recognised qualification for some young people. Over the course of recent years, numerous programmes and initiatives have been introduced at an individual, regional and structural level in an attempt to increase the efficiency of the transitional system. September 2010 brought the launch of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Initiative "Educational chains until the completion of training".

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