Germany: Chancellor Scholz Emphasizes the Importance of Vocational Training

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has underscored the significance of vocational training for individuals and the future of the entire nation. The goal is to make vocational training, particularly the dual education system, more appealing to young people from abroad. Chancellor Scholz conveyed this message during his visit to the new training campus of the Berlin Public Transport Company (BVG).

Empowering Youth Through Vocational Training

Seventeen-year-old Emily Nikolay is a prime example of success in vocational training, according to Olaf Scholz. Emily applied for vocational training after completing school and was accepted by the Berlin Public Transport Company. As an aspiring automotive mechatronics technician, she is responsible for the daily maintenance and repair of BVG’s vehicle fleet, pursuing her passion for craftsmanship.

For Emily, the choice was clear; she wanted a technical education because, as she recalls, “I was already tinkering with shelves as a child.” She believes that vocational training is “the best thing that has happened to me. It has made me much more independent, and I have learned to take responsibility.”

During his visit to the training campus, Chancellor Scholz had the opportunity to witness Emily’s skills and dedication firsthand. She demonstrated a “wheel gripper system,” which is used, for instance, to lift buses.

Equal Opportunities for All

Ahmad Mohammad Sharef, a 29-year-old electrical engineer specializing in operational technology, also had the chance to meet the Chancellor. He had fled from Syria to Germany a few years ago and had previously studied in his home country. At BVG, he is responsible for, among other things, the lighting of subway stations and contributes his knowledge as an instructor. Sharef is convinced of the high quality of dual vocational training in Germany and believes that “all young people should have the opportunity to receive vocational training.”

The Chancellor’s Impression

Chancellor Olaf Scholz was impressed by the motivation and commitment of the trainees and instructors. He expressed his satisfaction with the start of the training year, stating, “I am very glad that I can be here in this large new building as part of BVG’s training and education program. This demonstrates how important vocational training is in our country.”

He also highlighted the special tradition in Germany, where “we choose professions, learn them, and practice them extensively to excel in them. It is good for our collective future that young people continue to do this.”

The Chancellor’s visit to the BVG training campus is part of the “Summer of Vocational Training” initiative. The federal government and social partners are promoting the attractiveness of dual vocational training and the diversity of apprenticeships. Until the end of September, interested individuals can access important information on social media and participate in numerous events at the federal, state, and regional levels.

Scholz considers strengthening dual vocational training an important matter, especially to address the current shortage of skilled workers. “We need to ensure that we always have enough qualified young people,” he said. This involves the activities of schools and educational opportunities.

In the Chancellor’s view, “we need to convince many people that choosing a profession that can be learned through an apprenticeship or vocational training is still essential.”

Germany Pact

Furthermore, Scholz is keen on making the long-standing tradition of dual vocational training in Germany appealing to young people from abroad, allowing them to pursue careers here. This is also part of the Germany Pact, which seeks answers to questions like: “How can we, with our capabilities, contribute to ensuring that enough people receive training and that we can convince enough young women and men to start, complete, and build a successful career through vocational training in this country?”

Emily Nikolay and instructor Ahmad Mohammad Sharef at BVG need no further convincing. Sharef believes that “vocational training is always a good decision,” and Emily emphasizes, “Every day, you gain something new that you carry with you throughout your life.”