Enhancing the practical training and know-how transfer in the automotive sector

several Chinese trainees in blue overalls being trained on a machine

The Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt provides training measures for vocational trainers at Chinese colleges.

iMOVE: What is the name and background of your organisation?

Malcherek: The Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt acts as a service provider for 15,000 German businesses - primarily small and medium-sized - with 3,500 apprentices mostly from Erfurt as well as Central and Northern Thuringia. The Chamber advises these companies on their activities abroad, on technical, financial and legal matters, on environmental issues and on vocational training.

iMOVE: Which services do you offer in the field of vocational education and training?

Malcherek: The skilled crafts sector is number 1 in Germany when it comes to providing training. Its dual training system is unique. It combines practical work and learning in the enterprise with theoretical education in a vocational school during training. The training concludes with the skilled worker’s examination after three to three and a half years. The Chamber runs a vocational training and technology center, where trainees can acquire special industry-wide compentences which amend their in-plant training programmes.

iMOVE: What are your international business experiences?

Malcherek: In 2007 we started to work with various Chinese and German partners in order to introduce vocational education and training modules in China. Currently we participate in a project which focuses on building and operating a Chinese-German Automotive Qualification and Certification Center in Chongqing. German trainers will be coaching Chinese teachers at vocational colleges regarding the professional and practice-oriented dissemination of training content. The 3-year project is sponsored by the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research.

The project under the direction of the Zentralstelle für Weiterbildung im Handwerk (ZWH - Central Agency for Continuing Vocational Education and Training in the Skilled Crafts) aims at improving the practical training of trainers and also their trainees. The concept of the new competence center is targeted on being transferred to other, similar centers in the future. Apart from the Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt, the other partners of this cooperation are the Gesellschaft für Bildung und Beruf GBB, the DIHK-Bildungs-GmbH, the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE), the Education Commission of the City of Chongqing, the Chongqing University of Technology (CQUT) and the Chamber of Commerce Abroad Shanghai.

iMOVE: Which key service do you provide for a successful cooperation with international partners?

Malcherek: The Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt develops a space allocation plan and furnishing concept for the Chongqing University of Technology. The Chamber also designs a train-the-trainer course and provides adequate training materials. The first group of 16 trainers from Chongqing was trained in Germany from the middle of April until the end of November 2013. After an 8-week training in didactics and methods, the participants completed a 6-month automotive training in Erfurt and graduated as journeymen according to German standards of a recognized German examination board.

After the completion of the building and the furnishing of the training facilities and infrastructure, the participants will undergo a 2-week coaching in at the competence centre in Chongqing which will be held by a trainer from the German chamber. Until 2015, further training courses are planned.

portrait of the interviewee
Thomas Malcherek, CEO of the Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt
several Chinese trainees working on an automotive machine


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Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt

Fischmarkt 13

99084 Erfurt

Phone: +49 (0)361 6707-0

Contact person:
Thomas Malcherek

several Chinese trainees working on an automotive machine
© photos: Chamber of Crafts and Trades Erfurt