The model of dual vocational education and training is currently attracting considerable attention. Demand is rising worldwide, and there has been a strong increase in the amount of media reporting. The main factors driving public attention are the high rates of youth unemployment in some European countries and fears of an impending shortage of skilled workers. On the basis of the way in which it links learning and work and schools and companies, the dual training system in Germany appears to be a successful model for the structuring of the transition from school to working life.
But can it be developed into a model for the whole of Europe? Large numbers of new bilateral cooperation agreements are currently being set up to investigate how company-based and school-based learning can be better combined within the respective national context. This approach is being further developed at a European level within the scope of the "European Training Alliance". Endeavours to reduce youth unemployment include modernisation of vocational education and training systems in accordance with a model of company-related VET.
The diversity and heterogeneity of the vocational education and training systems in Europe mean that the various activities need to take precise account of the facts and circumstances and initial situation in each respective country. Political and social systems and system structures have grown in different ways and offer different starting points for reforms. These need to be identified and form a basis for further development.
The international BIBB Conference "Work-based Learning in Europe - renewing traditions" on 4 and 5 December 2013 in Bonn will be a joint event with European partners to address various "work-based learning" models such as "apprenticeship" and "alternance", to discuss the associated consequences for the role and responsibility of the stakeholders involved (the state, companies, trade unions, learners) and to identify joint elements of various models of "work-based learning".
The conference is aimed at a specialist target audience, in particular VET experts and practitioners from different countries. It aims to make a contribution towards the joint identification of "best fit" solutions for the structuring of "work-based learning" in vocational education and training.