Joint responsibility of state, trade and industry and social partners

By working together, the state, trade and industry and the social partners can secure the basic conditions under which vocational education and training can take place. These range from sharing funding to developing and implementing curricula and extend to include the testing and certification of competences which have been acquired.

A vocational education and training system must continue to develop. The innovative strength of such a system is secured by cooperation between the state, trade and industry and the social partners.  In Germany, the state organises the establishment of dialogue forums in which the state itself, trade and industry, the social partners and civil society reach agreement on such matters as the development of training occupations. Employers and trade unions cooperate in developing minimum standards for the in-company element of training. These are coordinated with the curricula for the school-based part of VET, for which the individual federal states are responsible. This enables the state to restrict its activities to the securing of quality standards. Notwithstanding this, the state has a particular role to play in initial VET and refresher training. Supporting young people, job seekers and disadvantaged people along the route to employment is considered to be an important public task.

This differentiated distribution of roles makes vocational training highly flexible and relevant to practice and secures a broad degree of acceptance of VET within trade and industry and across the population as a whole.

The benefits at a glance:

  • Various knowledge and vested interests are integrated into the further development of vocational education and training systems. Decisions enjoy broad acceptance. The needs of the labour market are taken into account.
  • Trade and industry participate in the financing of vocational training. They play a key role in helping to structure contents and standards.
  • The productive division of labour which occurs during training enables in-company training costs largely to refinance themselves.

Perspectives for cooperation:

We are already making a successful contribution towards the acceptance of vocational education and training by trade and industry and within the society of many of our partner countries. We take the respective general cultural and socio-economic conditions into account in providing important support to the dialogue which takes place between the state, the private sector of the economy and the trade unions. We use our experience as a foundation for the support we offer our partner countries in developing solutions which enhance both the quality and relevance of vocational education and training qualifications with regard to the present and future needs of trade and industry.