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State and trade and industry in Mexico agree joint activities in vocational education and training

Personen sitzen an einem Konferenztisch mit Namensschildern.

High-ranking representatives from the Mexican vocational education and training system have met for talks on cooperation within the project “Further development of the Mexican dual VET model (MMFD)”. This is the first stage of a “dialogue of equals between the state and trade and industry” in vocational education and training in Mexico.

Responsibility for vocational education and training in Mexico rests with the national system of technical training CONALEP, the Centre of Technological Training (“CET”, Centros de Estudios Tecnológicos) and many other smaller institutions. CONALEP is the most important VET institution in Mexico by some distance. It was founded in 1978 and is now represented by 501 schools all over the country, at which more than 75 percent of all of Mexico’s vocational school pupils are trained. The Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) is the political “(Government) Secretariat for public education” in Mexico.

In May 2014, high-ranking representatives of the Mexican vocational education and training system were invited by the German Ambassador to attend a working breakfast, at which the aim was to raise awareness of further measures to take place within the scope of the project “Further development of the Mexican dual VET model (MMFD)”.

The heads of the Mexican Ministry of Education Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), of the National Employers’ Association Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (COPARMEX) and of the BIBB partner institute Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) all took part in the meeting. On the German side, the leaders of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and of the International Cooperation and Advisory Services Section/Central Office for International Vocational Education and Training Cooperation at BIBB were invited to attend alongside the CEO of the German-Mexican Chamber of Foreign Trade Cámara Mexicano-Alemana de Comercio e Industria (CAMEXA).

Immediately following the working breakfast, the Mexican stakeholders withdrew for internal discussions with a view to drafting a joint written agreement. This process may be viewed as the first stage of a “dialogue of equals between the state and trade and industry” in vocational education and training in Mexico.

The project “Further development of the Mexican dual VET model (MMFD)” is a cooperative venture between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the SEP in Mexico. The aim of the project is to introduce joint elements to the Mexican training system.

Within the scope of the MMFD, BIBB is cooperating with the GIZ and implementing various consultancy activities. The main focuses of the activities carried out thus far have been in the following areas:

  • Supporting the Mexican Government in disseminating the Mexican model of dual vocational education and training. In spring this year, BIBB and the GIZ acted on behalf of the BMZ to conduct two fact finding missions in Mexico. During this process, an outline concept was developed to coordinate cooperation between the various German VET stakeholders at a local level in a productive way.
  • Training continues to be provided to training staff and multipliers in order to drive forward the implementation of the Mexican model of dual vocational education and training.
  • Within the scope of specialist meetings, workshops and conferences, BIBB is providing advice on the following topics:
    • Legal framework of vocational education and training
    • Legislation for Mexican dual VET – analysis of German legislation
    • Vocational education and training staff

During the further course of cooperation with BIBB, the objectives of the MMFD are as follows:

  • Put educational institutions in a position to be able to offer dual training courses
  • Support stakeholders in the development and modernisation of standards
  • Assist with the creation of prerequisites for the establishment of an institution in Mexico which could take on the equivalent tasks performed by BIBB in Germany
  • Include components of resource-friendly work with sustainable materials (“green” competences) in the training course curricula of the Mexican dual system

Initial activities on the topic of “Standards” have been agreed with the SEP and CONALEP for August and October 2014. On the German side, the aim is to plan and implement these in conjunction with GIZ, CAMEXA and BIBB.

At the special international forum to be staged as part of the BIBB Congress in September 2014, the intention is to present and discuss the challenges being faced by various VET systems with regard to increasing or securing attractiveness and to hold a panel to present Mexico as an example country. This panel will be informed by the experiences of state representatives, German training providers, local companies and European social partners.

A framework agreement on cooperation in vocational education and training has been in place between BIBB and CONALEP since 2009. CONALEP reports to the National Ministry of Education. The main consultancy focus during cooperation thus far has been on providing technical support for the establishment of an institutional and legal framework for (dual) Mexican vocational education and training. Efforts here have concentrated on the development of legislation based on the role model of the German Vocational Training Act (BBiG).