Incentives to Participate

Cui bono? asked Cicero, famous Roman rhetorician. Who benefits? In Germany, all actors in the ecosystem are thought to benefit. The Berlin IHK describes a “triple win.” The state benefits with low unemployment compared to the rest of the European Union. Companies enjoy the benefit of highly trained employees. And students clearly have access to well-paid employment. Nationally, it is thought that a government investment of €3 billion (about $3.37 billion in May 2019) generated matching funds of €23 billion (about $26 billion) annually.


Kornelia Haugg,

Director-General Haugg provided a more detailed set of responses:

Young people are attracted to VET by the opportunity to earn money (as apprentices and future employees), gain a qualification, attend a high-quality vocational training program; and work in a skilled occupation at something practical and hands-on.

For the employer a key motivator is access to competent (and in fact vetted) potential employees. They simultaneously obtain the workforce they need while reducing on-boarding expenses for new employees. They find themselves with a loyal, productive, skilled, and innovative workforce.

A key employer motivation, Haugg stressed, is a sense of social responsibility to the larger community. This is a sense driven not by the government, but by a commitment in Germany going back centuries to the guilds of the Middle Ages that craftsmen had an obligation to the community and to their craft to pass on their skills.

Government, finally, noted Haugg, is attracted by the potential of VET to provide the skilled workforce essential to a modern economy, while promoting economic growth, and offering citizens the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

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