Successful progression through training in dual VET despite coronavirus pandemic

Contract termination rate falls – exam pass rate remains stable 

Vocational education and training (VET) has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the training market remains under pressure. Dual vocational education and training nevertheless came through the crisis. Contrary to what some had feared, for example, there was no rise in the proportion of premature contract terminations in 2020, nor was there a fall in the final examination pass rate. This is shown in a recent analysis conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB).

According to the analysis, the termination rate for 2020 was 25.1 percent. This means that around one in four training contracts were terminated early. There has been a significant fall in the contract termination rate for the first time since 2015 – in 2019 it was 26.9 percent. The fall in the contract termination rate is evident in all federal states, in virtually all areas of responsibility, in most professions and in all groups of people (men/women, both German and non-German trainees, and among all types of general education school-leaving certificate). It should be noted that not every contract termination equates to dropping out of vocational education and training. This reason is that, following a contract termination, a large number of the young people and young adults go on to conclude another training contract in the dual system.

Furthermore, a total of 424,161 final examinations were registered in 2020. This meant there was no change in the number of final examinations compared to the year before. The number of final examinations passed as a proportion of all examinees also remained stable. In 2019, 92.8 percent of examinees passed the final examination, while in 2020 the figure was 92.3 percent. There was also barely any change in the proportion of examinations retaken. In 2020, 6.8 percent of all examinations were retaken and the year before the figure was 6.4 percent.

BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser explained: "The coronavirus pandemic had a massive impact on vocational education and training in 2020 and, for example, led to a significant fall in the number of newly concluded training contracts. However, the figures provided clearly attest to the fact that dual vocational education and training went comparatively well for those in a training relationship in 2020 despite the enormous challenges. Dual vocational education and training therefore also acquitted itself well in the crisis. I would like to thank all those involved – companies, trainers, vocational school teachers and examiners – for doing such a fantastic job under difficult circumstances and I congratulate the trainees on successfully completing their training."

Source: (website of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, December 2021