Series of reports on specific aspects

These reports take up specific aspects of VET and present key facts & figures.

also on Cedefop website

The "Thematic Perspectives" supplement the more general information on VET systems in the “VET in Europe” country reports and "Spotlights on VET" by focusing on a current European priority topic.

The most important facts and analyses on the following topics have already been summarized: 

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.

How do we understand early leaving from VET in Germany? The current situation is presented on the basis of two indicators. Further, the factors that can lead to a premature termination of training are addressed and preventive measures are presented. The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the early termination of training contracts concludes the report.  read more 

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 the current situation in Germany. 

After giving an overview of the main types of VET teaching and training staff at the different learning environments (chapter 2), chapter 3 presents the initial and continuing education and training of VET school teachers, followed by chapter 4, which describes the professional development of in-company trainers. 

Chapter 5 illustrates the cooperation between the IVET learning venues to support the professional development of teachers and trainers. National funding programmes and initiatives on CPD of VET staff in the fields of digitalisation, sustainability and inclusiveness are described in chapter 6. Finally, chapter 7 presents national surveys of teaching and training populations.

The articles of other countries on this topic can be found here.

Digital innovation affects manufacturing processes, work organisation and qualification profiles. What are the policy strategies and initiatives to modernise VET and how can digital technologies and media support learning practices?

The policy debate on VET 4.0 in Germany began about a decade ago in connection with the significant technological changes under the heading Industry 4.0. It was stirred up in 2013 in particular by Frey and Osborne's polarisation thesis, and the question of its transferability to Germany. In fact, the main expectation is that the nature of work will change fundamentally; there will be a trend towards more demanding tasks. The report provides an overview of policy approaches, initiatives and programmes designed to ensure the attractiveness of VET against the background of these major technological changes in the future:

  • Chapter 1: The policy debate on VET 4.0 in Germany
  • Chapter 2: Digital strategies and initiatives for VET
  • Chapter 3: Occupational screenings as a contribution to updating training regulations
  • Chapter 4: Digitalisation and AI as instruments for anticipating future qualification requirements and assessing competences
  • Chapter 5: Digital learning practices and media
  • Chapter 6: AI and automation

The articles of other countries on this topic can be found here.

The European Union (EU) wants to make apprenticeship training even more attractive through long-term stays abroad (3-12 months).

In Germany, the Vocational Training Act (BBiG) supports explicitly international mobility as part of the apprenticeship. Pursuant to Section 2 (3) BBiG, training may be completed abroad for up to a quarter of the duration specified in the training regulations. Two studies on mobility status were carried out in 2010 and 2017 and show a steady growth trend: while in 2010, approximately 17,000 initial VET learners had a stay abroad (mobility rate of 2.4%), more than 30,000 initial VET learners did so in 2017, reaching a new mobility record of 5.3% of all IVET learners.

Most stays abroad (over 85%) lasted up to one month. There were hardly any stays of over three months. Long-term mobility has thus so far been a niche phenomenon. The aim of this report is to identify enablers and disablers of outgoing and in-coming (long-term) mobility of apprentices, with regard to: national framework conditions (Chapter 1), the VET system (Chapter 2) and practical implementation (Chapter 3).

The articles of other countries on this topic can be downloaded here.

This article presents and analyses the German results of Cedefop's European public opinion survey on vocational education and training in a comparative way. It singles out aspects relevant to the national situation as compared to the EU average. Further, it provides interpretation within the German context. The article covers the four main topics addressed in the survey based on the data provided by Cedefop and concludes with suggestions for further research in the future waves of the survey:

Chapter 1: Awareness and knowledge of VET
Chapter 2: Attractiveness of IVET
Chapter 3: Experience with upper secondary education
Chapter 4. Outcomes and effectiveness of VET 

The articles of all 28 countries on this topic can be downloaded here

The articles introduce national outreach and guidance strategies as well as practices aimed at improving the skills of inactive and unemployed people. The articles of all 30 countries on this topic can be downloaded here.

Competences are defined here as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context. Key competences are those, which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment.

The Reference Framework sets out eight key competences: communication in the mother tongue; communication in foreign languages; mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology; digital competence; learning to learn; social and civic competences; sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; and cultural awareness and expression.

Critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking, and constructive management of feelings play a role in all eight key competences.

These articles inform on systematic national approaches to acquisition of key competences in upper secondary VET in the ReferNet partner countries.

VET teacher and trainer professional development is one of the strategic priorities of the Riga conclusions (2015).

There are four categories of VET teachers and trainers across the countries:

  • Teachers of general and vocational theoretical subjects in VET schools/centres;
  • Teachers of practical subjects in school workshops or simulated learning environments;
  • Apprentice tutors (mentors) in companies;
  • Practical training instructors who accompany students during work-based learning parts of school-based programmes, taking place in companies.

The reports describe how the countries support initial and continuing professional development (CDP) of teachers and trainers. They also address country-specific challenges.

Innovations and changes in the labour market require an innovative vocational training. Maintaining or improving the attractiveness of VET is a continuous challenge.

These articles describe the latest initiatives on innovation in VET in the ReferNet partner countries.

The articles describe specific features of apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL) in the 30 ReferNet countries: the role of companies, in particular SMEs, offering training placements; programme attractiveness and career guidance; national governance, regulatory framework and social partner involvement; quality assurance; and main strengths and challenges of these programmes.

The articles provide country-based evidence on early leaving from VET, examine the size of and reasons for this phenomenon, and present preventive and remedial measures related to VET.

Each report follows common guidelines from Cedefop. In this way, “Thematic perspectives” not only provide national overviews but also allow for comparison across EU member States, Iceland and Norway.