What are the disadvantages of technical training

31.07.2001 15:42

Advantages and disadvantages of dual training courses - an international comparison

Dr. Ilona Zeuch-Wiese Press and public relations
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)

The German dual system of vocational training differs significantly from almost all other European vocational training systems: Germany has a tradition of learning through work, while in other countries of the European Union school-based training programs determine the professional qualification process of young people. Recently, however, it has been noted that work-integrated learning has been attracting increasing interest in Europe - dual training approaches are gaining in importance in many EU member states. An international comparative study carried out by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) as part of the European LEONARDO action program together with research institutions from Spain, Finland, Italy and Great Britain shows the advantages and disadvantages of dual training measures in Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain and the UK Netherlands examined using the example of vocational training in construction. The aim of the project was to examine the extent to which dual training courses in the six examined countries are able to meet the new economic and structural requirements in order to draw conclusions from the results for the further development of the vocational training systems.

The survey of national experts and the overall European comparative survey show: The central problem in most European countries is to adequately orientate training offers to the needs of companies and to incorporate technical and organizational changes in the world of work into training. The dual system in Germany, on the other hand, suffers - from the point of view of German experts - most from its dependence on the economy.

The following overview documents a ranking of the advantages and disadvantages of dual training measures (in Europe) or the dual system (in Germany), as they emerged from the surveys in the context of the study. The results make it clear that when school systems are supplemented by company learning processes, there are common advantages and disadvantages compared to the German dual system.

Ranking of the advantages and disadvantages of "dual" training measures from an international comparative point of view


1. The mix of learning locations is expanded in a positive way through practical experience

2. The trainers' knowledge of the latest technical developments is updated

3. Social partners have greater opportunities to help shape training

4. Productive work by young people has a motivating effect on the trainees and reduces costs on the training companies

5. Inter-company training centers as additional providers of learning locations can compensate for deficits in learning in practice


1. The cyclical dependence of company training offers creates problems

2. Difficulties in implementing curricula when the workplace offers limited learning opportunities

3. Technical changes that have an impact on training are implemented at different speeds in the company and in the school ("lag")

4. Heterogeneity in the company's learning opportunities leads to qualitative problems in training

Ranking of the advantages and disadvantages of the "dual system" in Germany from the point of view of German experts


1. Recruiting your own skilled workers through training brings advantages for companies (no job advertisements, no risk when filling vacancies, no training, etc.)

2. The mix of learning locations has positive effects on training

3. The quality of training results from the compromise between company-specific and job-specific qualifications

4. High social acceptance of the training, resulting in a positive image of training companies

5. Cost reduction of the companies through productive performance of the trainees

6. The schools are under pressure to adapt because they have to face the requirements of practice

7. Widely accepted qualitative minimum standards

8. The transition from training to work ("second threshold") is made easier


1. The training market does not always cover the demand for training

2. Training is qualitatively and quantitatively dependent on the companies' willingness to provide training

3. The state has to co-finance the training without being able to control it

4. Cooperation deficits between teachers and company trainers

5. Great formal effort to secure the system infrastructure

6. Continuity between training and further education is not guaranteed

The results of the international comparative study are documented in the publication "Dual training systems. Institutional framework conditions and performance of dual training in the construction industry" published by Uwe Grünewald and Dick Moraal. The publication is available for DM 35.00 from W. Bertelsmann Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Postfach 10 06 33, 33506 Bielefeld, Tel. 0521/911 01-11, Fax: 0521/911 01-19, E -mail: [email protected]

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