Launch of the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training
The German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET) began its work on 12 September 2013. The official opening ceremony was performed by Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser in the presence of numerous State Secretaries and ambassadors.
Due to the high degree of attractiveness of the German vocational education and training system, the advisory services of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) have been increasingly in demand from abroad for some years. BIBB currently maintains around 30 cooperation agreements with institutions and institutes all over the world in order to support reform in the respective national VET systems. For BIBB President Esser, the launch of GOVET opens up a new chapter in international vocational education and training cooperation". Speaking at the contract signing ceremony at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which is responsible for GOVET, Professor Esser said: "Interest in dual vocational education and training 'Made in Germany' is huge right across the world. The new German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training at BIBB will serve as a competent platform for the exchange of information with immediate effect and is a logical consequence of rising international demand for the German VET system." He went on to state that all the expertise in international VET cooperation accumulated by BIBB over the decades would be brought to bear in the new German Office. which equally serves as a point of contact and as a "service agency" for interested parties from abroad and for German VET stakeholders.
Following a "round table" meeting at State Secretary level with representatives of the federal ministries and federal states involved, with the trade and industry and social partners, with BIBB and with other bodies with a stake in vocational education and training, BMBF State Secretary Cornelia Quennet-Thielen and BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser took part in a contract signing ceremony to signal the official launch of the German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training. The participants in the meeting unanimously welcomed the establishment of the body and expressed the high expectations they hold as it takes up its work. Perceiving an opportunity to organise the involvement of German stakeholders abroad in a coordinated manner, they announced their intention to make a constructive contribution towards ensuring the success of GOVET.
Voices heard at the opening ceremony
BIBB-President Prof. Dr. Friedrich Hubert Esser:
''BIBB is delighted at the opening up of this new chapter in international vocational education and training cooperation and at the trust placed in our expertise by the BMBF. Our objectives are to set out priorities, to represent company-integrated VET as a joint philosophy and continue to develop companies as venues for learning and work in other countries. The goal is to support partners in the implementation and expansion of the best possible link between school-based and company-based training.''
Mr Igor Slobodník, Slovakian Ambassador:
"In Slovakia, a transformation of the existing vocational education and training system is needed in order to secure a successful economy. It is not possible to copy the German system of dual VET, and indeed this is not something that any side wishes to do. Nevertheless, we hope that your expertise will provide us with support. We will study your experiences and work closely with you to gain impetuses for fundamental reforms. We are confident about what cooperation with GOVET will bring!"