Germany within ReferNet

ReferNet is the European information network in the field of vocational education. The reports and analyses by ReferNet Germany provide information on various aspects of the German VET system.

describe the structure of the German VET system in a lifelong learning perspective and present a comprehensive picture to a wider public. Since 2019, the contents of the "VET in Germany" report are available in an online database. You can download the different formats in the right column.

summarise key features, challenges and developments of the German VET System. You can download the 2020 edition in the right column on the VET system.

These reports present the most important facts and analyses on specific issues in Germany, e.g. "Teachers' and trainers' professional development", "VET for the future of work", "International long-term mobility in apprenticeships", "Guidance and outreach for inactive and unemployed".

You can download the latest reports in the "Key issues" column on the right.

by the ReferNet German team is the main source of the Cedefop periodic progress report for the European Commission on VET policy in Germany. read more

inform on the latest developments in vocational education and training, employment and labour market issues in Germany.  You can click and view the most recent issues in the right-hand column.

ReferNet is the European network for collecting and spreading information and data about current developments in the field of vocational education and training (VET) and educational research. It was set up by Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) in 2002.

VET experts work together in the national ReferNet teams of the 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland. The task of national coordination in Germany has been with the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) from the start.

The aim of the network is to describe and reflect on the diversity of VET systems in Europe, to facilitate continuous scientific exchange and to prepare information and data for national and European actors in politics, research as well as for other experts and interested people. The information gained is published in country reports and serves as the basis for initiatives and processes at European level.

Common report structures make it possible to compare the different national vocational education and training systems and political developments in the EU member states.

For the 20th anniversary of the network, the ReferNet Germany team organised an online seminar on 15 June 2022. The ReferNet activities were presented either with slides (see on the right) or directly on the website (VET in Europe Reports and Thematic Perspectives). 

Green skills anticipation

What skills and occupations are needed for the green transition? In this compilation by ReferNet Germany, projects forecasting future skills needs are briefly presented. They are an important basis for securing the qualification profiles needed in the future on the labour market.

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Early leaving from VET

This article presents the concept of dropping out of VET and the situation in Germany based on two indicators. Further, the focus is on the preventive measures in place to prevent drop-out as well as factors that can lead to early leaving from VET. The impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic conclude the report.

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VET in Europe tool updated

The Cedefop ReferNet database is the main source of information on VET systems in the EU, Iceland and Norway. It includes diagrammes, generates reports and allows comparing by country and theme. The 2021 update is now online.

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Thematic Perspective 2021

How can professional development help in-company trainers and VET school teachers adapt to the new demands of digitalisation, diversity and environmental crisis, and acquire the necessary skills? This report focuses on Germany.

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Spotlight on VET compilation

provides a concise overview for 2020 with a system chart and key features of VET in each country of the EU, Iceland and Norway.

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Report VET in Germany 2020

gives an overview of the vocational educational and training (VET) system in Germany: external factors influencing VET; providing VET in a lifelong learning perspective; shaping VET qualifications and promoting participation in VET.

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Spotlight on VET Germany 2020

describes the German VET system. It outlines the key features as well as the challenges and policy responses, e.g. an attractive VET for all and how to deal with the challenges of digitalisation and the commitment to sustainability.

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Thematic Perspective 2020

focuses on the responsiveness of the German VET system to the challenges of digitalisation, AI and the future of work. What are the policy strategies and initiatives to modernise VET and how can digital technologies and media support learning practices?

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Thematic Perspective 2019

presents enablers and disablers of international long-term mobility of apprentices, with regard to: German framework conditions (Chapter 1), the VET system (Chapter 2) as well as practical implementation (Chapter 3).

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VET in Germany Report 2018

gives an overview of the vocational educational and training (VET) system in Germany: external factors influencing VET; providing VET in a lifelong learning perspective; shaping VET qualifications and promoting participation in VET.

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Thematic Perspective 2018

presents and analyses the German results of Cedefop's European public opinion survey on VET in a comparative way. The article provides interpretations within the German context, using national surveys.

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ReferNet Germany Flyer 2017

introduces ReferNet, the European information network on vocational education and training: its objectives, activities and partners.

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ReferNet Europe Flyer 2017

presents ReferNet, the European network of expertise on VET, from the point of view of Cedefop: its goals, partners and activities.

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