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National Continuing Education Strategy concluded - Together for a new continuing education culture in Germany

The Federal Government, the federal states, the business community, the trade unions and the Federal Employment Agency pool their efforts for training and qualification with the National Continuing Education Strategy.
12 Jun 2019 | Press Release No. 18

Thus, there is a national continuing education strategy for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

On the occasion of the presentation in Berlin, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, said: "The presentation of the National Continuing Education Strategy is a milestone for further vocational training in Germany. We want to develop a real continuing education culture in Germany. Continuing vocational training must be part of everyday working life in the future. The vocational training must be designed in such a way that it does not overwhelm the employees but motivates them to continue with their advanced education. For example, we will develop modular interactive learning platforms in a "Digital Platform for Vocational Continuing Education" in an innovation competition, which makes it possible for a low-threshold access to lifelong opportunities for advanced education. We will substantially increase the apprenticeship period Federal financial aid (BAföG), so that even more people would apply for advanced training. In order to increase the labor market opportunities of persons without a vocational qualification, we will expand the procedures for the assessment and certification of informally acquired competences nationwide and strive for a binding establishment of this validation procedure throughout Germany. Mentors for vocational training should support the further education of the colleagues in companies, among other things. This is just the beginning of going on the offensive for a longer period. We make it clear what significance advanced training has for the future." 

Hubertus Heil, the Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, has emphasised: "If we want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital transformation, Germany must invest more in training and further education. This is the linchpin for maintaining the employability of the workers, to prevent unemployment before it is set to change and at the same time to secure the skilled labor base. There has been success in concluding specific agreements between the federal government, the federal states, the business community and trade unions with the National Training Strategy, to send out a signal for a new start. The National Continuing Education Strategy is not confined to abstract declarations of intent but provides impulses and very specific measures - such as a fundamental claim of catching up on a vocational qualification, the significant reinforcement of advice on further education by the Federal Employment Agency and the assistance of alliances for further education at the regional level. In addition, we will examine measures such as state-sponsored education periods - for new and good work of tomorrow. "

A fundamental idea of the national vocational training strategy is prevention, says Detlef Scheele, CEO of the Federal Employment Agency: "Vocational training that matches the current requirements provides the best protection against unemployment. With the Qualification Opportunities Act as a framework for the national continuing education strategy, we can support employees even better with counselling for continuing education and their companies with financial support, so that unemployment does not arise in the first place. If all partners put their strengths to good use and integrate these well with one another, we can shape the structural change in the interests of the people. The National Continuing Education Strategy is a very good starting point for this.

The Federal Government, the federal states, the economy, the trade unions and the Federal Employment Agency pool their efforts for training and qualification with the National Continuing Education Strategy. The strategic partners orient the vocational training in Germany in such a way that the structural change can be successfully designed, for each individual as well as for the economy and society as a whole. Thus, they are also committed to a new continuing education culture in Germany, which considers further education as a natural part of life. In this way, all present and future employees should be supported in developing their skills and competences further as the world of work changes.

With the focus on professional development, the strategy partners will make vocational training offers and funding opportunities more transparent and easier to access for all and in addition, expand them. Groups of people with below-average training participation should receive special support and the same goes to small and medium-sized enterprises that do not have large HR departments for developing training concepts.

The National Continuing Education Strategy is a central project of the Coalition Agreement and a substantive focus of the Federal Government's strategy for skilled workers. The partners of the National Development Strategy will implement these in a continuous exchange. The implementation activities are coordinated and networked in a committee that meets regularly. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) and by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to provide technical support for the strategy implementation process professionally, with a national report on the continuing vocational training in Germany. A joint report will be presented in 2021 for review, with which the implementation status and the operational objectives of the National Vocational Training Strategy will be checked and further developed, if necessary.