On Tuesday, January 29th, the German Embassy in Washington, DC hosted “The German Skills Initiative” with many heads of both U.S. and German corporations in attendance. Alongside German Ambassador Peter Ammon, the speakers included U.S. Secretary of Commerce Dr. Rebecca Blank, German Deputy Chief Executive of International Economic Affairs Dr. Volker Treir, CEO of Siemens Corporation Eric Spiegel, CEO of Zentis Food Norbert Weichele, President of Central Pidemont Community College Dr. Tony Zeiss, and Professor at Urban Institute Dr. Robert Lerman.
Each speaker confronted the problem of the “gap.” According to Dr. Blank, a growing skills gap is emerging among the youth of America between the years of high school and college. Many young students are headed into “dead end degrees,” while those who are focusing studies in the manufacturing arena are graduating with a diploma alone, absent of skill sets or work experience. Germany faced a similar predicament and created the now successful “Dual Program” to address and close the gap.
The program consists of pairing both the public education sector with private businesses to provide students with practical training and education that falls somewhere between German high school and college standards–and right where it needs to be to land a stable job in manufacturing. The results? A youth unemployment rate in Germany of 6.2 percent vs. 16.8 percent in the U.S.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
In a world of high youth unemployment, where the supply of skilled labor often fails to match employer demand, Germany believes help can be found in its Dual Vocational Training System (TVET)—a time-tested economic model now incorporated into the Federal Republic’s law. This program, many supporters believe, is the reason why Germany has the lowest jobless rate among … Continue reading »
In a provocative paper, Hermann Gartner[i] and Christian Merkl[ii] attribute the so-called German miracle to its “wage moderation” that was the result of labour-market policies in the years preceding the global crisis – a point that is often ignored in the public debate. It could well be that apprenticeship is not the only factor. “While the US … Continue reading »
Apprenticeship schemes can be the driver for the most disadvantaged young people to gain employment, but they need to be made simpler and more accessible, according to Barclays HR director Lynne Atkin. Atkin, who has been HRD of Barclays since 2009 and this year helped launch its first £20 million apprenticeship scheme, believes one of … Continue reading »
HR magazine’s first HR Lunchtime Debate, brought to you in Réapprentissage conjunction with Commsight (an Opinion Matters service), is an online TV show that brings together experts to discuss the whys and wherefores of setting up an apprenticeship scheme. During the live debate you will hear from Jason Holt, CEO of the Holts Group, who led the … Continue reading »
The protracted European debt crisis and austerity measures have made career prospects for many of the continent’s youth bleaker than ever. In Spain and Greece, nearly half of all those under age 25 are unemployed. But … that’s not the case in Germany. In stark contrast, Germany’s youth employment is the highest in Europe, with … Continue reading »
Apprenticeships face ‘identity crisis’, according to Forum of Private Business writes HR Magazine The Forum of Private Business yesterday warned a group of MPs that apprenticeships are facing an ‘identity crisis’, with business owners in certain sectors concerned that shorter schemes do not provide the same value as longer courses. The Forum’s senior policy adviser Alex … Continue reading »
Youth guarantees Programmes that guarantee young people will get a job, education or training have shown good results in a number of countries. In Finland, the success rate of the youth guarantee scheme is estimated at more than 80 per cent. A registered youth has to be offered a job, academic education, vocational training, or … Continue reading »