VET Glossary

Terms of the German VET system

The glossary is a source for terms and definitions which are used in the field of vocational education and training. Emphasis is placed on its usage in the context of the German dual system. The VET Glossary is a work in progress and updated and expanded on an ongoing basis.

Federal law in Germany refers to those legal norms that have been passed or enacted at federal level. Federal laws are passed by the German Bundestag.

Source: Wikipedia (translated from German)

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (German: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung), abbreviated BMBF, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is headquartered in Bonn, with an office in Berlin. The Ministry provides funding for research projects and institutions (aiming for “research excellence”) and sets general educational policy. It also provides student loans in Germany. However, a large part of educational policy in Germany is decided at the state level, strongly limiting the influence of the ministry in educational matters.

Source: Wikipedia

The BMBF describes its tasks and objectives:

"Our responsibility in the area of education addresses every stage of human life, beginning with early childhood learning through to continuing education and lifelong learning. Whereas school and university education are mainly in the remit of the Länder, the Federal Government also plays a significant role - for example by means of the Higher Education Pact, through award of scholarships, or through the Alliance for Education. We share responsibility with the Länder in the fields of non-school vocational training, training assistance and continuing education. One of our priority concerns is the establishment of social equality in education to ensure that a person's background no longer determines his or her chances to get an education and that no talent is wasted. International exchange in education and science is also one of our responsibilities.

Research excellence is a must in a country whose prosperity is built on the innovative strength of its industry. The aim of the High-Tech Strategy is to make Germany a leader in providing scientific and technical solutions to the challenges in the fields of climate/energy, health/nutrition, mobility, security, and communication. Innovative technologies and services create new jobs, and thus every generation will have its chance to develop its potential. The Excellence Initiative and the Pact for Research and Innovation are injecting new life into the research community and promote young research talent."

Source : BMBF

Federal state law means the law created by the legislative bodies of the (federal) Länder. It must therefore be distinguished from federal law, i.e. the right created by the Federation. In the Federal Republic of Germany, federal law and federal state law basically coexist. This is an expression of the principle of federalism.

Source: Juraforum

In school-based (vocational and technical) programmes, instruction takes place (either partly or exclusively) in educational institutions. This includes special training centres for vocational education run by public or private authorities or enterprise-based special training centres if these qualify as education institutions. These programmes can have an on-the-job training component, i.e., a component of some practical experience in the workplace.

Source: OECD 2002, Global

In Germany the system of full-time vocational schools supplements the dual VET System. More Information you will find in the section about school-based initial Training in the German VET System.

Training subsequent and complementary to initial training. A short-term targeted training typically provided following initial vocational training and aimed at supplementing, improving or updating knowledge, skills and/or competences acquired during previous training.

Source: NCVER 2013, Australia

The German system of continuing vocational education and training can be defined as follows: Vocational further training generally requires a completed apprenticeship and/or appropriate relevant professional experience. The vocational training should open up the possibility for people to maintain their professional capacity in their current position/occupation (further training) (Anpassungsfortbildung) or to expand their professional capacity for professional advancement (advanced training) (Austiegsfortbildung).
There are thus two forms of continuing vocational training in the German system: further continuing training (receiving and adapting) and advanced continuing training (expanding and career advancement).

In contrast to advanced training further training is not regulated by the state. Further training serves to maintain the employees' professional capacity and is under the employees' responsibility. Most of the companies support further training. Many of them (at least medium and big companies) have their own training programmes of futher training.

Source: BIBB (German)