South Africa and Germany extend Vocational Education Agreement

Germany and South Africa have extended their vocational training cooperation by three years. At a meeting of the German-South African Working Group on Vocational Training in Berlin, two high ranking representatives from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the South African Ministry of Higher Education and Training signed a corresponding agreement. This will continue the successful cooperation of the past years.

Innovative collaboration with companies

The agreed work plan includes the concept development for a vocational training institute, and the development of competence-oriented training standards and innovative forms of cooperation with companies in vocational education and training.

In addition, the existing activities of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development(BMZ) on testing dual education programmes and of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) on the development of vocational training standards in agriculture were included in the bilateral work plan to ensure a uniform and coordinated approach.

Need for well-trained specialists

The professional training of specialists is a topic of global importance for the future. Increasingly networked, globalised and digitised workflows in production, maintenance and service require well-trained specialists. German companies are also observing this trend at their foreign locations. For this reason, international cooperation in vocational training directly serves Germany's economic interests.

A sound vocational training, which is geared towards the demands of the labor market lays the foundation for the paths of life the younger generation will walk. In addition, a solid vocational training also contributes to social peace and political stability, the employability of individuals and the competitiveness of economies.

Rising interest in the German vocational education and training system

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) maintains close cooperation relations in vocational education and training with countries such as South Africa (since 2013), India (since 2007) and Russia (since 2012). The co-operation focuses on advisory activities on the legal framework, the development of competence-based curricula and the establishment of capacities for vocational research and counseling. Targeted reform and innovation impulses are put in place with pilot projects for the implementation of company training courses or the training of company trainers. Pillars of these efforts are the "GOVET" activities and pilot measures within the "VETnet" strategy projects at the Foreign Chambers of Trade and Commerce (AHKs).

Source: Kooperation International (in German)