When supported, part-time training produces successful outcomes

Part-time training is also an option but is rarely used. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has taken a look at the structures and developments. 

There is still a long way to go before we will see the "part-time training model" being widely used This is the conclusion of a recent publication by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). So far, the option of part-time vocational education and training is only being used to a very small extent - in 2018 it accounted for only 0.4 per cent (less than 2,300) of all newly concluded training contracts. For the first time, the publication contains comprehensive descriptive evaluations of the structures and developments in part-time vocational education and training based on the vocational training statistics from both federal state and national statistical offices. It also analyses progression through the training courses about which, to date, very little evidence has been available.

Those who stick it out are usually successful

The analysis shows that there is a much higher risk of part-time contracts being terminated—in particular, there is an increased risk of interruptions and stopping training even late on in the course. However, training is very successful for those who keep up with it right through to sitting the final examination. Despite the impact on the family and the fact that part-time trainees have lower-level school leaving qualifications, they achieve high levels of success—around 92 per cent pass the final examination.

Support measures are having an impact

For researchers at the BIBB, success stories from practice are proof that support measures which accompany the training are having an effect. They are able to reduce the risk of early contract termination and also stabilise the part-time training relationships. Ideally these should be focused on the individual case and should range from specific one-off interventions through to sustained support over a longer period. The measures should be run along the lines of "as much as possible but not more than necessary". At national level, for example, there is assisted training (Assistierte Ausbildung, AsA) or in-training support (Ausbildungsbegleitende Hilfen, abH). Funding programmes at federal state level complete the offer.

Legal restriction no longer applies from 2020

The underlying conditions were improved at the start of 2020. The amendment to the Vocational Training Act as of 1 January set out to strengthen the option of part-time dual vocational education and training. This has meant that, for example, the legal restriction requiring a “justified interest” no longer applies and this has increased in the potential group of people interested. According to BIBB, part-time training where the time spent training on a daily or weekly basis is reduced, can now be arranged for any dual training relationship.

Information from the BIBB about part-time training

"Training on a part-time basis presents those people for whom full-time training is not a realistic option due to a range of different factors with the opportunity to achieve a recognised professional qualification," emphasises Friedrich Hubert Esser, President of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. He explained how the amendment to the Vocational Training Act has increased these opportunities. In the future, and in combination with the appropriate support measures, adds Esser, training on a part-time basis will contribute significantly to reducing the proportion of adults without completed vocational education and training and to increasing the potential supply of skilled workers. 

Source: bibb.de (website of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, January 2021