German Trade Union Federation country report: structures and challenges for VET in the USA

German Trade Union Federation (DGB) publishes report on "Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the USA: structures and challenges from a trade union perspective" which is now available free-of-charge in the Federal Institutes for Vocational Educaton and Training (BIBB) VET Repository in German and English.

The publication was discussed in February 2020 with the US delegation from the state of Wisconsin. The delegation was finding out about social partners in vocational education and training in Germany.

Under the leadership of employment minister Caleb Frostman from Wisconsin, GOVET worked closely with the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB) to organise a study at the start of February involving education and training policy makers, and representatives of companies and unions. The agenda for this intensive week of work included not just discussion relating to the governance and responsibilities in the dual system of both countries, but also regulatory issues relating to training content and standards. Hermann Nehls, DGB representative and initiator of the delegation trip, presented the US delegation with a country report on the structures and challenges of vocational education and training in the USA from a trade union perspective. The country report written by Hermann Nehls was prepared as part of the "Unions4VET" project which is supported with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The BMBF has been supporting the international collaboration of trade unions in VET through the Unions4VET project since 2015. The aim of the project is to improve the quality of vocational education training by means of the transnational exchange of knowledge, experience and best practice, and to strengthen the role of the trade unions as social partners in the governance of vocational education and training. Since the start of the project, meetings, workshops, conferences and projects with partner unions from Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia, and the USA have taken place with employee representatives. In each case, the basis of the collaboration with the partner unions is an analysis of the VET policy-making situation and the challenges in those partner countries from the perspective of the employees. The current report on the VET system in the USA is based on secondary analyses and numerous expert interviews with US VET stakeholders and was prepared in 2019.

Source: GOVET (website of the German Office for international Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, November 2020