Minister visits Germany to learn more about their apprenticeship programmes
A tour of BMW’s iconic motorcycle factory in Berlin was just one of the visits Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, made during a fact finding mission to Germany on Friday.
The Deputy Minister was in Berlin to learn more about Germany’s dual apprenticeship system which is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world.
The dual system is a unique partnership between trade unions, employers and government who work together to meet the needs of industry and young people. No such partnership exists between businesses and unions in other countries.
Employers and unions work together to create new market-led training programmes and to update existing ones. They also negotiate on collective agreements, for example, concerning the amount of allowance paid to trainees.
During her visit to BMW, the Deputy Minister received an overview of the company’s vocational training system, toured the company’s training centre and met trainees. The factory is one of the BMW Group’s longest-standing manufacturing facilities and employs 2,000 people.
The Deputy Minister said:
“I wanted to understand which aspects and principles of the German system could be adopted here in Wales. As we move forward with our review of apprenticeship programmes I’ll be considering what I saw in Germany and how best it could help the Welsh economy.
“We need to ensure that have a sustainable programme that is market relevant and is flexible enough to respond to market need.”
As well as visiting training facilities at the BMW motorcycle factory the Deputy Minister met representatives from the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations.
The Confederation deals with social policy on behalf of the German private sector.
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