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Added value of the dual system – virtual networking meeting with Ghana

How does a dual training system work? What mechanisms are deployed? And what considerations inform a company’s commitment to dual training? All of these core issues were up for debate during a virtual networking session with sector representatives from Ghana.

Added value of the dual system – virtual networking meeting with Ghana

In order to perform the tasks of a vocational education and training system – such as those, which arise in areas such as examinations and quality assurance – separate mechanisms and processes, need to be developed for each system. This was a point which Peter Rechmann, Deputy Head of GOVET, was keen to make during his presentation of the dual system in Germany. At the end of March, GOVET and the Commission for TVET (CTVET) had invited representatives of the Sector Skills Bodies (SSB, expert committees used by the CTVET) to take part in an online meeting to provide information on the structures of dual training. The CTVET is planning to establish a dual training system in Ghana, which will feature a high degree of participation by companies. At the very outset of the considerations as to how this system could be set up, the CTVET had sought contact with the SSB in order to explore the needs of its allied companies. The virtual meeting with GOVET now represented an initial step in terms of addressing and explaining fundamental issues relating to the dual system.

Peter Rechmann involved the stakeholders and their roles and areas of responsibility in the discussion on the topic, especially by providing an insight into how companies perceive costs and benefits. In some occupations, trainees are integrated into the production process in a way, which is effective enough to enable them to contribute to the value-added chain of the company whilst they are still in training. For most companies, however, aspects such as securing the services of future skilled workers at an early stage are more arguments that are important.

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The family-run company Scheidt & Bachmann trains in several apprenticeship professions and dual study courses and regularly receives awards for its commitment.

In the second part of the event, Heinz-Josef Eßer, Head of Technical Training at the Mönchengladbach-based company Scheidt & Bachmann, underlined this point of view. The areas of business activity pursued by this family-owned firm include a global presence in the field of parking and signalling systems. Over 100 of approximately 3,000 employees are young people in training. The company is a strong advocate of training in the region and has already received multiple awards for its own provision. Electronic technicians trained here have been recognised as the best in the whole of Germany. The training places on offer at the firm also encompass commercial occupations such as industrial clerk or information technology specialist.

In an interview with Julia Olesen, Project Head at GOVET for bilateral cooperation with Ghana, Mr. Eßer emphasised that commitment to training had always been one of his company’s core values. However, he also stressed that societal and social responsibility was not the only factor driving this approach. The focus was also very much on acquiring a supply of qualified skilled workers and thus safeguarding the most important asset of any company– its staff. He reported that some trainees initially leave the company upon completion of their courses in order to continue their education via a range of different pathways, such as higher education study. Nevertheless, 30% of these will return later.

“We create a successful bond with the company. During the 40 years we have been offering technical training, this has allowed us to retain 380 out of a total of 1,000 trainees.”

Heinz-Josef Eßer, Head of Technical Training at Scheidt & Bachmann

The participants from the SSBs represented various sectors – tourism, renewable energies, construction, automobile production, textile manufacturing and agriculture. Representatives from the delegation of German industry and commerce in Ghana (AHK, German Chamber of Commerce Abroad), from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) all took part in the networking event. There are certain tasks in Germany which are normally performed by the chambers in their capacity as competent bodies. The question as to where these should be allocated in Ghana formed a particular object of debate. Issues relating to the organisation of examinations and to support services for companies providing training still need to be defined before a new Ghanaian dual system can be put in place.

GOVET has been advising the Commission for TVET on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2019.