Education exported - Germany's Youth Unemployment Recipe
For decades, Europe has been dealing with the issue of youth unemployment. In many countries, in particular in the European Union, the financial and economic crisis has forced up the numbers of unemployed youth – which currently lies at an average 20,7 per cent (October 2016). In search for a solution to this problem, a closer look at Germany is worthwhile.
Germany has the lowest youth unemployment rate in the EU, with 6,9 per cent of the total population. For scientists and politicians, the secret behind the country’s success lies in the practically oriented educational approach called the “Dual System”. The dual vocational training system is the most common approach of vocational training in Germany which produces highly qualified specialists and executives.
The dual system is comprised of theoretical and practical components. The ‘practical’ part of the dual model is executed by private companies - providing them with the opportunity to train their own potential staff in line with their demand. Simultaneously, the trainees attend vocational schools where related theories are taught. Linking the two learning components ensures the comprehensive, factory-trained capabilities of the next generation of employees.
Since trainees take an active part in the operational added-value process and assume responsibility at an early stage, dual vocational training opens up career opportunities and serves as a good basis for promotion in demanding careers. The dual system also ensures early bonding between the companies and future skilled workers. These mutual benefits are reflected in the high retention rates of trainees. In Germany, young people who joined a dual vocational education have the lowest risks of becoming unemployed.
The success of the dual educational program lies, of course, in the availability of traineeships offered by companies. The collaboration of the political and economic sectors in Germany is taking strides to ensure the availability of traineeships – and this cooperation is generating positive effects.
The specialists and executives trained through this model enhance the competitiveness of the German economy and are among the world's most sought-after employees. The German educational system has proven to be globally viable and competitive and enjoys a reputable standing in the international scene.