Greater responsibility and better pay: higher-level vocational education and training is worth it
Chamber of Industry and Commerce survey on continuing vocational education and training
It's not only coronavirus which is placing a strain on the economy. The shortage of skilled workers in Germany is increasingly also restricting growth and innovation. In the view of businesses, greater efforts being made within vocational education and training represent a key response to these bottlenecks. Higher-level vocational education and training – in other words successful upgrading training to the level of master craftsperson, specialist, business economist or management accountant – above all offers outstanding opportunities and prospects for the skilled workers of tomorrow. This is the view reported by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
Greater responsibility at work, improved salary and personal development – these are the key successes for those participating in continuing vocational education and training. According to findings from the most recent IHK survey, two aims come right at the top as motivations for completing continuing vocational education and training: higher earnings (46 percent), and the goal of achieving a better position in your job (66 percent). A good quarter of respondents stated learning something new to expand their own horizons as a motivating factor behind the decision to complete continuing vocational education and training.
"For nearly two-thirds of graduates, continuing vocational education and training has impacted positively on their professional development," explains Annett Auer-Thoß, Head of the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg IHK Academy. These professional advantages become even more apparent some years after the examination. Other positive effects are evident in the short term. 85 percent of graduates stated that continuing vocational education and training helped them broaden their perspectives, give them a better understanding of the interrelationships involved, and that they now act with greater confidence in their work.
The continuing vocational education and training endeavours are supported in the case of 83 percent of graduates. In most cases those participating are supported by the Aufstiegs-BAföG upgrading training grant (47 percent). 58 percent of graduates also want to complete further training in the future and their preference is for an additional higher-level vocational education and training qualification.
The federal government's decision to strengthen higher-level vocational education and training is the right path to take. This will now also clearly emphasise the equivalence between academic and vocational education and training. Eye-catching qualification descriptions for the branding of higher-level vocational education and training, the "Bachelor Professional" for example, are therefore a positive step in this regard.
The advantages of higher-level vocational education and training also need to be communicated at an early stage, ideally in the schools. In the view of the IHK, improving careers guidance should continue to be right at the top of the agenda not just in terms of dual initial vocational education and training, but it should also highlight, at an early stage, the ongoing professional prospects, for example of becoming a master craftsperson or a specialist. Overall, vocational education and training not only gets a raw deal at higher-level secondary schools but also at other schools. This urgently needs to change so that companies are also able to call on skilled workers with the very best vocational qualifications in the future.
Source: nrzw.de (German news portal), revised by iMOVE, June 2021