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Graduation and continuation – Education chains up to the vocational training qualification

© Bildungsketten / Photography: Jakob Ebert

The initiative "Graduation and continuation – Education chains up to the vocational training qualification” supports adolescents in finishing school, finding an apprenticeship placement and successfully completing their vocational education and training.

The objective is to integrate as many young people capable of vocational education and training as possible into apprenticeships with companies, to significantly reduce the number of school drop-outs, to improve the transition from school to an apprenticeship and later to professional life and to thus counteract the skilled labour shortage.

The so-called Education Chains initiative was established by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2010. These education chains are an important element in the initiative " Occupation as an opportunity – Future of vocational education and training”, which the BMBF has created to support vocational and advanced training in Germany.

Federal government and federal states dovetail support instruments

The BMBF co-operates with the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Federal Employment Agency to achieve the systematic, nationwide stabilisation of successful support instruments to enable young people to find apprenticeship placements as fast and efficiently as possible. These instruments mainly include:

  • analyses of potential;
  • vocational orientation;
  • career-start counselling;
  • voluntary coaching (VerA initiative);
  • measures in the transition period.

The process of vocational orientation sets in early and is systematic. Where needed, supervisors provide individual support to adolescents to help them finish school and find their way into an apprenticeship. The whole progress from school to an apprenticeship is documented and reviewed by the so-called Berufswahlpass (Career choice pass) or a similar instrument.

The nationwide uniform support instruments are dovetailed with the activities and instruments provided by the federal states for the transition from school to a career. Binding agreements between the federal government and the federal states support the development of a coherent support concept in the field of occupational guidance and career entry. The Education Chains initiative thus makes a decisive contribution to ensuring the successful education of young people in a preventive and holistic manner.

Education Chains service office supports qualified professionals

The initiative is co-ordinated by the Education Chains service office at the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The service office is a central point of contact for the stakeholders involved in the initiative and has the following responsibilities, amongst others:

  • it is the agency of the Bund-Länder-Begleitgruppe (consisting of representatives of the federal government, the federal states and the Federal Employment agency), which supports the initiative on a technical level;
  • it co-ordinates the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Berufswahlpass, the federal working group responsible for the career choice pass;
  • it connects institutions, experts and professional practitioners with each other in a network and moderates their exchange of expertise;
  • it provides scientific support to the initiative;
  • it develops useful materials to support the daily work of professionals in the field;
  • it edits and makes available research insights as well as best practice examples and maintains public relations.

Expert information on the transition from school to job

The internet portal www.bildungsketten.de provides a host of information and a wide range of services regarding the topic of transition from school to job. For example, a film and an interactive project map invite visitors to the portal to find out more about the Education Chains initiative. The collection of materials provides inspiration for practical work with adolescents, schools and businesses. The Education Chains magazine and a brochure on career entry support are available for free.