Several trends affect German VET and the apprenticeship system in particular. Among those the decrease in school graduates, the increased interest of school graduates to enrol in higher education and mismatches in supply and demand can be considered as most important ones.
Around 522,094 newly-concluded apprenticeship contracts have been registered in 2015. According to the vocational training statistics, 1,358,550 young people were in the dual system of vocational education in 2014, mostly in the western part of Germany. The stock drops slightly from year to year. Consequently the VET policy decision makers have committed themselves to the alliance for initial and continuing VET at the beginning of 2015 and most of them are developing awareness-raising campaigns and initiatives to support apprenticeship. For all VET actors the challenges imply that the modernisation of the apprenticeship system is a continuous task. One specific target is to establish VET qualifications and programmes as equivalent alternative to higher education qualifications in view of access to the labour market and as part of lifelong learning strategies. Further thematic priorities are listed in the VET Federal report (2016).
- Improvement of the transition into the dual apprenticeship system
- Modernisation of VET and of the revision procedure for training regulations
- Enhancement of the attractiveness of VET
- Enhancement of the participation in TVET
- Initiatives to integrate youngsters with a migration background and refugees into vocational education and training
- Internationalisation of VET