This short description contributes to better understanding of vocational education and training (VET) in Germany by providing insight into its main features and highlighting system developments and current challenges.
Learning on the job is traditional in German education. Work-based learning (WBL) features in most secondary and tertiary VET programmes and graduate employment is high. However, demographic changes and the attractiveness of academic education have reduced the appeal of upper secondary VET. To address this, new designations of professional bachelor and professional master emphasise equivalence to academic programmes
Transformations currently influencing VET require political responses. Digital and green economy transitions are already being addressed, with digitalisation emphasised in Covid-19 pandemic responses. Continuing VET is increasingly important, highlighted in the Qualification Opportunities Act (2019); this gives access to CVET funding to all employees affected by structural change or seeking training in an occupation lacking employees. The National skills strategy (2019) sees occupational CVET within lifelong learning as part of Germany’s training culture.