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Dual education system

Dual education system

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A dual education system combines apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

s in a company and vocational education
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

 at a vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

 in one course. This system is practiced in several countries, notably Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Macedonia, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, but also Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and for some years now in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and other countries in Asia.

In the Duales Ausbildungssystem young German people can learn one of 356 (2005) apprenticeship occupations (Ausbildungsberufe), such as e.g. Doctor
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

's Assistant, Dispensing Optician
Optician
An optician is a person who is trained to fill prescriptions for eye correction in the field of medicine, also known as a dispensing optician or optician, dispensing...

 or Oven Builder.
The precise skills and theory taught are strictly regulated and defined by national standards: An Industriekaufmann (Industrial Manager) has always acquired the same skills and taken the same courses in production planning, accounting and controlling, marketing, HR
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

 management, trade laws, etc.

Especially in southern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 this model is also used for a special college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

 system called Berufsakademie (Professional Academy).

In France, dual education (formation en alternance) has undergone a boom since the 1990s, with information technology being the greatest draw.

Apprenticeship section


As one part of the dual education course, students are trained in a company for three to five days a week. The company is responsible for ensuring that students get the standard quantity and quality of training set down in the training descriptions for each trade.

In Germany, this practical training may be complemented by more practical lessons at workshops run by the guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s and chamber of commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

, in order to compensate for the bias caused by training at only one company. These extra courses usually take three or four weeks a year. The time spent at vocational school is approximately 60 days a year, in blocks of one or two weeks at a time spread out over the year.

In France, the same amount of time is spent in practical training and theory, with the following possible systems:
  • 2.5 days in a company, 2.5 days at school,
  • one week in a company, one week at school,
  • six months in a company, six months at school.


French companies must provide a tutor or other person responsible for the students, or a human resources
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

 officer to deal with them. Their duties may involve daily tutoring and/or targeted training. French apprentices on the dual education course are paid a certain percentage of the minimum wage for the job they are learning.

School section


The other part of the dual education course involves lessons at a vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

 (German: Berufsschule). The responsibility for this part of the course lies with the school authorities in every German state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 or Swiss canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

. Both general lessons ( for example German, politics, economics, religion or even sport) and trade-specific theory are taught.

Lessons may be taught part-time (one or two days a week) or in blocks of several weeks. The latter is preferred for trades learned by only a small number of students, where students may have to travel long distances to get to the nearest vocational school which teaches their subject.

Testing


In Germany, for most trades, the first examination takes place about half-way through the vocational training and is only to test how well the student is doing so far: the marks do not go towards the final exam. Both exams are organised by the small business
Small business
A small business is a business that is privately owned and operated, with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Small businesses are normally privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships...

 trade group and chamber of commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

 and industry. Examinations for trained artisan
Artisan
An artisan is a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewellery, household items, and tools...

s are traditionally known as journeyman
Journeyman
A journeyman is someone who completed an apprenticeship and was fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman had to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master....

's tests (Gesellenprüfung).

Examinations for trades which have been recognised more recently are organised slightly differently. Here, the first examination counts as 40% of the total result, with the final examination making up the other 60%.

Those who fail the exam can apply to have their training extended until the following year when they can retake it. Only one extension is allowed.

Advantages of dual education


The student is an employee of the company from the beginning and receives tasks according to his growing abilities. If a company is willing to make a employment-contract with the student after his dual education time, the company will get an employee who knows the company's workflow. The student can also benefit from the knowledge about hard skills and soft skills of more experienced co-workers. The student develops under real conditions. Therefore, he can see if he is not able or willing to do this job quite early and not after exams. Furthermore the student earns money from the beginning.

Germany


Although the dual education system is generally considered to be exemplary, an increasing number of young people are taking vocational education and training (VET) courses at training sites and schools rather than in real companies, as for various reasons, companies are becoming less willing to take on apprentices. To counter this, the government
Cabinet of Germany
The Cabinet of Germany is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Chancellor and the cabinet ministers. The fundamentals of the cabinet's organization are set down in articles 62 to 69 of the Basic Law.-Nomination:...

 considered making it compulsory for firms to take on apprentices. This idea, however, was dropped when the trade associations agreed to a voluntary training pact.

The reasons behind the lack of places on dual education courses include:
  • companies which take on apprentices have to follow a large number of regulations
  • the training itself is very expensive
  • the requirements for several positions have become more complex and many school graduates do not provide a fitting level of education
  • for the less complex positions only graduates with a very low level of education are willing to do it, but they are not able to keep up with the course
  • companies are often highly specialized and unable to train apprentices in all the required areas


Recently some attempts have been made to overcome these difficulties, but as yet with no success. Two solutions put forward so far are "contractual education" (Auftragsausbildung) and state-run courses. The former would involve companies training apprentices which they do not plan to employ; the contract would also not be an employment contract. The latter solution would involve training outside of companies, in schools and colleges.

Switzerland


In Switzerland too, more and more young people are finding it hard to get a place in a company of their choice. In 2004, a conference took place on this subject, attended by all the parties in the Swiss Federal Council
Swiss Federal Council
The Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss collective head of state....

; as no agreement could be reached on which measures to take, the only result was a call for all companies to take on apprentices.

The lack of places has changed the conditions in which apprentices are taken on. In 2004, one newly-founded company even advertised apprenticeships in IT
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

where the apprentices had to pay for the training themselves. The uproar was so great, however, that the company was not able to start up. Today, most apprentices have to take aptitude tests before they are accepted, and there are usually several candidates for a company to choose from.

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