Educating the future workforce is an ongoing challenge for the United States and Europe. Lessons can be learned from other countries’ experience in developing multiple career pathways for their citizens despite national differences. This program compares the outcomes of these work-based learning systems and their role in boosting employment and economic growth.

While our focus in Europe has been on the broad structure of apprenticeship systems, we should not lose sight of the apprentices themselves. Many times we have been told “no apprentice is alike.” This certainly is true given the varying ages and impressive experiences of those we met in Europe. Many enrolled in apprenticeship programs …Read More

Today we went to the MMBbS, an information technology and media vocational training school two hours south of Berlin by train, and learned about the school that was built on the grounds of the Expo 2000, a World Fair whose theme was developing and presenting solutions for the future. Today it is still focused on …Read More

Germany was derided not too long ago as the “sick man of Europe” after years of economic malaise. It is now lauded as the world’s Exportweltmeister; its current-account surplus even surpassed China’s in the past year. Undergirding the German economy is a highly structured, but remarkably efficient, system of work-based education that has survived these …Read More

As part of the AICGS site visit tour, my colleagues and I spent our first day in Paris getting an in-depth view of the French apprenticeship system. We started off at the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP) in the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Vocational Training, and Social Dialogue for a broad overview, and …Read More

After the hustle and bustle of the capital city, our train passed through the countryside. Small family farms with goats abutted a busy railway. Our destination also lay in between the pastoral and the modern—the Hungarian city of Kecskemét is host to not only a new factory that produces the latest Mercedes cars, but also …Read More

What is the institutional structure of vocational training in Germany? What makes it unique? What challenges does this system face? The participants of the AICGS working group “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” had the chance to ask these questions to Dr. Achim Dercks, Deputy Chief Executive …Read More

The fourth meeting of “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” featured Katie Gage, Director of the DC branch of Enstitute, who emphasized the need to reinvent the apprenticeship system to keep up with a fast-paced twenty-first century job market. The United States has experienced enormous growth in …Read More

Take a Tour Several years ago, my brother and I visited Daimler’s largest production facility in the small town of Sindelfingen, Germany. Some of the most sophisticated cars in the world are built there. Like other modern manufacturing facilities, the Mercedes-Benz plant is more of a campus than a factory. Some 26,000 employees work in …Read More

Two of the strongest education systems and economies worldwide, the United States and Germany, have been among the key sources for models in skill formation emulated globally. Public and private investments in skill formation have increased in both countries. Yet these systems maintain contrasting emphases: general and academic education in the U.S. and specific vocational …Read More

The third meeting of “Learn and Earn: Young Leader’s Group for the Development of the U.S.” featured Max Grünig, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, who focused on the need to “build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow.” He discussed with the group the current market for renewable energy jobs in Germany and around the world, obstacles in creating stability and certainty for a career in the renewable energy sector, and how this affects the ability to incentivize people to train and use these skills.

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