Europe – Companies in dual-VET systems are generally more pleased with the skills supply

The survey appears to indicate that companies in countries with dual VET systems Capture d’écran 2016-04-12 à 09.26.08are generally more satisfied with the skills of VET graduates than companies in Member States with mainly school-based VET systems. A possible explanation provided was that work-based learning is an efficient way of providing both professional and transversal skills – the two skills-categories found to be lacking most frequently. In terms of promoting transversal (or soft) skills, a respondent from a company operating in many European countries said:

‘VET education programmes normally deliver graduates with good soft skills. Especially in the countries with a dual education system as company based apprenticeships are a good way to teach students the required soft skills. Thus VET education with company apprenticeships gives a higher likelihood for obtaining better soft skills. But of course there are graduates lacking soft skills in both educational systems. But dual VET systems expose you more too soft skills than a closed VET system.’ (Large company, manufacturing and engineering, operating in many European countries)

A respondent from another company operating in many European countries puts it clearly, when asked about the provided skills in a country with a dual-VET system:

‘In general, the vocational education system does deliver graduates with the right vocational skills for the company. This is due to the dual education system.’ (Large company, manufacturing and engineering, operating in many European countries)Another clear indication of the satisfaction of companies with the skills level of their apprentices upon graduation is the fact that several companies end up hiring their former apprentices.

‘We tend to employ about 90 per cent of our apprentices after the end of their vocational education.’ (Manufacturing and engineering company)

One VET expert interviewed described how the institute he represents has recently conducted an analysis on the employability of VET apprentices in Germany. It showed that small companies hire 55 per cent of their apprentices when the latter finish their studies. The figure for medium sized companies was 65 per cent, while it was 80 per cent for large companies. The analysis also showed that the main reason why companies did not hire their apprentices was because the apprentice had other plans. Another reason was that the apprentices did not meet the companies’ expectations.

The current survey data hence seems to indicate that VET graduates who have been exposed to work-based learning are more likely to have the required soft skills as well as company-specific skill specialisation. This fact is emphasized by a significant group of respondents in the survey and also by the fact that many companies tend to hire their own apprentices when recruiting new employees.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Preparation of the European Business Forum on Vocational Training: final survey report

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