Skills Initiative: Enhancing German-American Cooperation on Workforce Training
The German Embassy in Washington, DC presents the Skills Initiative as one of the cornerstones of its work.
Through the Skills Initiative, the German Embassy is bringing together German and American businesses and local education/training providers with the aim of developing training programs best suited to businesses’ needs. The Embassy launched the Skills Initiative to identify and spread best practices in sustainable workforce development in the USA.
Now the Embassy, through Skills Initiative, is seeking cooperation with federal states, locally convening groups of German companies and bringing them together with training providers so that they can work on the best fit for training programs in their area.
The Skills Initiative: Expanding Apprenticeship in the U.S.— Lessons from the German Dual Education System
This white paper was prepared for the German Embassy by Bryan Kamm of AMskills (American Manufacturing Skills Initiative) and Robert Lerman of the Urban Institute. It gives an overview of the German dual training system and of the Skills Initiative.
Skills Initiative events have taken place all along the East Coast and Midwest, and more states are soon to follow. Dozens of companies have participated in talks with colleges and community respresentatives in participation with the German Embassy.
Dual Training has also found a home in many US states. German companies have implemented successful programs, and US state governments have also taken the initiative to develop job training programs. Here are a few highlights of dual training in the US.
The type of dual-track training that mixes equal parts education and work, which essentially cast the skilled-labor standard in Germany many years ago, is catching on among certain community colleges and firms in America. And thus far the import is faring well.
German vocational training, which seamlessly mixes theory and practice into a system that is ingrained into the socio-economic framework, is recognized the world over as a foundational, highly effective model for producing skilled workers.
“In addition, the Commerce Department is proud to voice our support for the German Embassy’s Skills Initiative. I am thrilled that the Embassy is leading a campaign across the United States to show local chambers and educational institutions the benefits of Germany’s innovative training models," said Secretary Pritzker in Spartanburg.
The Skills Initiative hit the road in November for a tour across six states. The Embassy team participated in roundtable discussions about skills training and introduced the German dual training model. The team also met with young people who have interest in participating in skills training programs.