Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion


The European Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative steered by the European Commission. The originator of the pledge is solely responsible for implementing the actions outlined in the pledge.

Author:German Economic Institute (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln)
Start Year:2016

Dirk Werner, Head of Unit Vocational Education and Training

Sandra Parthie, Head of Brussels Office




Types of organisation:Research institutes and think tanks

Vocational education and training has been a focus of the work of the German Economic Institute for many years. The experts in our unit “Vocational Education and Training” analyse the contribution made by occupational training to the enhancement of skilled workers’ qualifications and companies’ competitiveness. Their focus is on the dual system of vocational training, where learning takes place both on the job and at a vocational school. Our researchers investigate ways of further developing this dual system to take account of economic structural changes, the demographic transition, internationalization and the increasing levels of skills required at the workplace. In addition, they identify trends in vocational further training and analyse how life-long learning can be promoted. Furthermore, the researchers analyze regularly skill gaps by qualification level on the German labor market in order to sensitize in particular small and medium enterprises (SME) for the importance of offering dual training for securing a skilled work force in the long-run. In addition, due to the relatively low youth unemployment rates, the interest of other countries in the German dual VET system is growing. Therefore, researchers exchange regularly with representatives of other countries how dual elements in VET can be strengthened.

Key projects:

  • The researchers analyse regularly trends in the dual system including trends in advanced further training. These information shall sensitize companies as well as the general public for developments in the apprenticeship system and the importance of a general involvement in dual training. Also young persons and their parents are provided with evidence-based information about income and career prospects in the dual system in order to support informed career choices in times of progressive academization.
  • On behalf of the Robert Bosch Foundation the German Economic Institute identifies success factors and challenges for German companies in gaining and retaining skilled personnel abroad
  • Another project of the research unit is the Centre of Competence for Securing Skilled Labour (“KOFA”).  The Centre of Competence for Securing Skilled Labour supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in helping them to recruit skilled labour, to become sought-after employers, and to keep their competitive edge thanks to their qualified staff. Furthermore, SMEs find information on how to strengthen their in-company training and how to find adequate apprentices. (www.kofa.de)
  • Furthermore, the German Economic Institute provides information about foreign VET systems and foreign qualifications (bq-portal.de) in order to provide more transparency for companies and to support the competent bodies in the equivalence assessment.
  • The German Economic Institute carried out a study on vocational education and training for young people in Europe, together with the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, the Hans-Böckler-Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation Germany. This study compares the vocational education systems of seven countries: Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland and Germany. The main goal is to portray deep and practical insights into different vocational education and training systems of the respective countries to understand which system constellations can lead to success.


Short company / organisation description:

The German Economic Institute is a private economic research institute and a registered association with a membership consisting of some 110 German business and employers' associations as well as a number of individual companies. Additionally, collaborating particularly with other business associations, foundations and public institutions, we conduct research projects and carry out numerous studies.

Our studies, projects and policy recommendations identify the risks and opportunities for the economy and society in Germany and Europe. This makes the German Economic Institute a highly respected voice in public discourse and a much-consulted source of information and advice.  
Area of action: Supply
Area of action: Quality
Area of action: Image

Some of the partners in the research projects of the German Economic Institute are:

  • Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Robert Bosch Foundation
  • Konrad Adenauer Foundation
  • Vodafone Foundation Germany
  • Hans-Böckler-Foundation
  • DIHK Service GmbH

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