The researchers analyse the German dual VET system, which combines school-based and work-based learning. They also investigate trends in supply and demand of apprenticeship positions and how VET can remain sustainable and attractive for both young people and enterprises.
Continuing Vocational Education and Training
Topics in this area include the rate and extent of companies’ activities in continuing vocational training, e.g., by providing refresher courses or other forms of lifelong learning. Every three years IW researchers conduct the representative “IW Continuing Vocational Training Study”.
Supply of skill needs
Skilled workers are vital for the success of German enterprises. Research on the availability or shortages of skilled workers as well as potential solutions to this problem – in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) –are major topics of the research unit.
International Occupational Training Research
In particular due to the low youth unemployment rates the interest of other countries in the German dual VET system is growing. Therefore, researchers exchange regularly with representatives of other countries how dual elements in VET can be strengthened. Furthermore, the research unit provides information about foreign VET systems and foreign qualifications (bq-portal.de) in order to provide more transparency for companies and to support the competent bodies in the equivalence assessment. Many of the topics of the research unit are closely connected to other research units concerned with schooling, academic qualifications, or migration issues, inter alia. The main focus is on Germany. However, in many topics, there is a strong connection to European policy-making (e.g., concerning the implementation of "dual" elements abroad). We contribute our expertise to the public and political debate.