German Vocational Training Inspires

19 Indian executives from the middle and upper management levels were deeply impressed by German standards in vocational training and advanced training – they have nothing of its kind in India. AHP International provided the group with insights into the various dimensions of the German dual training system.

The dual vocational training system is characterised by parallel training on the job and in vocational school. This guarantees theoretically sound yet practical training. When compared to other countries, the system is unique: the Chambers of Industry and Commerce provide the recognised, standardised training material and tests, which they constantly adapt to the newest technical developments. At the ABB Training Centre in Heidelberg, the Indian MP participants were given the opportunity to observe first-hand how a German mechanical and plant engineer implements the dual system in cooperation with the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Their visit to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Training Centre in Karlsruhe, which primarily offers small and medium-sized businesses access to a wide range of training courses, also demonstrated the key role played by the Chambers of Industry and Commerce.

For many German companies, excellent vocational training represents a significant economic factor for success, which is also recognised in India. Many Indian companies find themselves confronted with a lack of universal standards in vocational training, which lead to, for example, high costs in training new employees. Indian companies are certainly interested in other effects too, such as increased efficiency, higher product quality and reduced employee turnover. Structured, practice-orientated training courses based on the German model can be an attractive option here. The MP participants also picked up various approaches to adapting the dual training system to their own circumstances from their discussion with the deputy head of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Training Centre in Karlsruhe, which is also involved in international projects. One possibility would be a pool of businesses from similar industries establishing and financing a collective training system. Another possibility might be to acquire trainers from external management consulting firms, if their budget didn’t stretch to a training centre of their own.

Inspired by new ideas, several participants now want to implement training and advanced training measures in their own companies – some in cooperation with German partners. The first step here will be to provide structured, internal, company courses for the mostly unskilled Indian workers.

By Dr. Linda von Delhaes-Guenther
AHP International GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin