Amongst other factors, many countries attribute the stability that Germany has enjoyed during the economic crisis to the country’s vocational education and training system. German VET is viewed across the world as a tried and tested model and offers a large number of potential starting points for the modernisation of vocational education and training systems in other countries.
International interest in the German VET system and in cooperation with BIBB has risen enormously over recent years, particularly in the wake of the economic crisis. BIBB has entered into various forms of cooperation with international partners and offers its services on a worldwide basis.
International cooperation is one of BIBB’s main focuses, and increasing numbers of foreign institutions and international organisations are seeking access to its VET know-how. Cooperation agreements for research and development projects and for consultancy services are in strong demand. BIBB is currently pursuing six priorities in its international work:
- International research and development projects
Within the field of international research and development projects, BIBB conducts system comparisons and monitors the development of vocational education and training systems in other countries. Developments in the European Education Area, training staff and company-based/dual training all constitute further areas of emphasis.
- Policy cooperation
The German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET) is housed at BIBB and acts as the main contact partner for national and international stakeholders in matters relating to VET cooperation. GOVET is an essential component of the strategy of the Federal Government to move towards greater cohesion in international vocational education and training cooperation by delivering services from a single source.
- iMOVE: Training-Made in Germany
iMOVE's objective is to promote international collaboration and the initiation of cooperation and business relationships in vocational training and continuing education.
- Recognition of professional and vocational training qualifications acquired abroad
The "Recognition in Germany" Portal is the official source of information for the recognition of foreign professional and vocational training qualifications. It provides migrants and foreign skilled workers with details on how and where they can submit an application for recognition of the professional or vocational qualifications they have gained abroad. The portal is operated by BIBB on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
- Advisory services for countries within the scope of projects with third party funding
BIBB offers consultancy for third party funded projects.
Cooperation is currently ongoing with the Palestinian Autonomous Areas on the basis of an agreement with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). This cooperation agreement forms part of the “Programme to Promote Vocational Training and the Labour Market in the Palestinian Territories” and has been in place since 2010.
The decision to establish a “National Agency for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NAVET)” was taken by the Cabinet in May 2014. BIBB is now working on this topic in conjunction with experts from the European Training Foundation (ETF).
- Cooperation agreements with international partner institutions
In some countries, advice of reform of VET systems (system consultancy) takes place on the basis of a cooperation agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
These are concluded between BIBB and a vocational education and training institution in the respective country, usually institutions involved with initial and continuing training or research institutes which are investigating vocational training issues.
Cooperation activities are stipulated in the agreement or Memorandum and are proportionally funded by each of the partners.
Cooperation with partner institutes takes place in the following forms:
- Research projects – the INDUCT project (see below) is one example of a research project with international partner institutes.
- Development projects – system elements or products are often developed within the framework of system consultancy. Examples include training regulations and vocational education and training reports.
- System consultancy – BIBB advises and supports a country in the reform of its vocational education and training system.