Virtual International Conference on Employer Engagement: Preparing Young People for the Future


The international conference hosted by the organisation "Education and Employers" took place on 1 and 2 July under the motto "Preparing Young People for the Future". BIBB Director of Research and Vice President, Prof. Hubert Ertl, analysed the role of employers in initial and continuing vocational education and training in Germany.

This virtual, international conference was hosted by Education and Employers in partnership with the Edge Foundation. It focussed on employer engagement in general education, technical and vocational education and training, and the extent to which the input of employers can contribute to adequately preparing young people for the rapidly changing world of work. In particular, attention was given to the need to develop and capture the skill requirements within the changing labour market and how such interventions can support young people as part of the response to Covid-19. The conference also reflected on reforms and policy shifts in relation to education and training and employer engagement internationally.

Professor Hubert Ertl, BIBB Director of Research and Vice President, was part of a panel focussing on policy approaches to increasing employer engagement in vocational education and training (VET). In his input he stressed the consistently high levels of commitment of employers in the context of German VET. He discussed the proportion of companies offering training places in the dual system. While this proportion has been decreasing to some extent over the last fifteen years, Professor Ertl argued that this in itself cannot be seen as sign of a weakening of employer commitment regarding VET. He showed figures of increasing numbers of training places being left unfilled in recent years and a growing mismatch between what companies offer and what potential trainees are looking for. Professor Ertl called for initiatives to shore up employer commitment by providing support a networking opportunities for smaller companies that often struggle to fully cover training regulations and therefore opt to not offer training.