Forum IV

School, and then what? Dual vocational education and training – preferences and reality

The question regarding the “attractiveness“ of vocational education and training” is one that has been posed for more than 25 years. Even today, no answer appears to have been found. Public debate sheds light on a variety of aspects. How attractive is vocational education and training and for whom? Why are fewer and fewer young people enthused by vocational education and training? How can companies obtain enough young employees and skilled workers? And, how can the effectiveness of a VET structure which acts as the key pillar of the German economic system be strengthened in overall terms? These and other issues will be debated from various perspectives.

The first day will take the ideas young people associate with adult life as its starting point and focus on the expectations they have of a programme of vocational education and training. The second day will mainly concentrate on the significant of VET for securing a supply of skilled workers. The aim of the final discussion is to address the issue of how the attractiveness of vocational education and training can be increased.


7 June 2018 Thematic block 1:
Young people on the route into vocational education and training

2:45 pm Warm up
Young people comment on training
3:00 pm Introduction and moderation
Professor Elisabeth Krekel, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
3:10 pm Life situation and life expectations of young people in Germany
Professor Birgit Reißig, German Youth Institute (DJI)
3:50 pm How do they assess their chances of entering training?
Dr. Verena Eberhard, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
4:30 pm Break
5:00 pm Acquiring young people with a higher education entrance qualification for training
Kim-Maureen Wiesner, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
5:40 pm Vocational education and training – views from a European perspective
Leonie Koch, Heraeus Holding GmbH
Doris Lenhart, Heraeus Holding GmbH
Dr. Miriam Shergold, hotelleriesuisse, Switzerland
6:25 pm Summary of the first day
Dr. Friedel Schier, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
6:30 pm End of the forum


8 June 2018 Thematic block 2:
On the significance of dual vocational education and training

8:30 am Introduction and moderation
Dr. Friedel Schier, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
8:35 am Vocational orientation and vocational guidance today – challenges in times of societal change and of fundamental shifts on the labour market
Dorothea Engelmann, Federal Employment Agency (BA)
9:15 am Training partnerships as approach to increase the attractiveness of training
Dr. Margit Ebbinghaus, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
9:55 am Competition between educational qualifications – bachelor degree or master craftsman?
Tobias Maier, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
10:15 am Break
10:50 am Final debate
Raising attractiveness – a task for many?
Angelika Block-Meyer, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Petra Jendrich, The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK)
Rose Köpf-Schuler, Länderarbeitskreis Berufliche Bildung, Wirtschaftsministerkonferenz (WiMiKo)
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Metternich, Federal Association of German Employer Associations (BDA)

Moderation: Professor Elisabeth Krekel, Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)

12:15 pm End of the forum

Prof. Dr. phil. Birgit Reißig

Prof. Dr. Birgit Reißig: Head of the Research Unit “Youth Transitions” at German Youth Institute; degree in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Leipzig (1995) and Phd. in 2008. Main research focus: vocational integration of socially and educationally
disadvantaged young people; involved in numerous research activities on transitions of disadvantaged youth from school to the vocational system.

Leonie Koch

Since September 2017 Leonie Koch has been in training to become an industrial clerk for the Heraeus Holding GmbH in Hanau. In spring 2018 she spent stay abroad of 8 weeks at the location of Heraeus Noblelight in Cambridge, UK, supported by the ERASMUS Programme.

Dr. Miriam Shergold

© Oliver Shergold

Dr. Miriam Shergold – Project Leader Education Policy, Swiss Hotel Association

Dr. Miriam Shergold is responsible for shaping and promoting education policy in the interest of Switzerland’s hotel industry. She contributes the industry’s perspective to the decision making processes of the Swiss Federal Parliament, governmental bodies and other institutions concerned with education, training and research. The Swiss Hotel Association cultivates a comprehensive education portfolio, ranging from basic qualifications, including for refugees, to vocational education and training, higher education and further education.

Dr. Miriam Shergold is President of the Swiss Federal Commission on Colleges of Higher Education, which evaluates applications for the federal recognition of Advanced Federal Diploma and postgraduate courses, as well as advising the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation on key issues regarding the Colleges of Higher Education. As a member of the vocational and professional education and training committees of the Swiss Employer’s Association and the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises, she contributes to the balanced solutions that the cooperation of Confederation, cantons and industry continues to produce.

Previously, she worked for the Swiss Federal Archives, the think tank RAND Europe and Universities UK. She studied History and French at the universities of Bonn and Caen and holds a Master of Philosophy as well as a Doctorate from the University of Cambridge.