Office of Laboru Affiars in Berlin: Meeting held to discuss Germany’s Future







A meeting has been held to discuss the future of Germany. “If Germany to remain competitive and innovative, the country’s training system is vitally important. It is also crucial that the country attract and retain the skilled specialist it needs.”


German Chancellor Merkel discussed how to cope with the challenges the future brings at the meeting with Otto Kentzler, President of the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and Philipp Rosler, German Economic Minister, and Michael Sommer, President of the German Confederation of Trade Unions on July 4, 2013. Merkel said hese discussions are specifically geared to considering not only at our day-to-day work, but also to looking beyond these at the challenge the future seems likely to bring.


Speaking about Progress on attracting skilled specialist, Merkel said in 2009 we first turned our attention to the problems of ensuring an adequate supply of skilled specialists, reported Angela Merkel. Progress has been made during the life of this government. Migrants can now have their foreign professional qualifications recognised more easily and the Blue Card system is in place, enabling highly qualified specialists from outside the European Union to live and work in the EU.


The Chancellor and top-level representatives of major industrial associations and trade unions, as well as seven federal ministers discussed how to cope with the challenges of the modern working world and increasing demands for knowledge. The meeting was held at the government guest house in Meseberg. It was the fourth meeting of this sort.


Merkel said this year, participants discussed the challenges posed by demographic changes in the field of vocational training and the education system. With a view to ensuring an adequate supply of skilled specialists, German must realise that it can actually extend people’s working life." There are very positive developments. To enable older people to exercise their profession for longer, additional measures must be taken into account, particularly lifelong learning and health care.


Merkel reported that education had been the second important point on the agenda – both dual vocational training (in which trainees split their time between school-based theoretical instruction and industry-based practical training) and university education. The meeting agreed that the dual vocational training system is becoming increasingly important not only in Germany, but at international level. And that is a good thing as it underpins German competitiveness and ability to innovate.


Participants also discussed the need for flexibility that would allow people to move from vocational training to tertiary education and vice versa. There is still room for improvement, said Merkel.


She said universities are currently seeing a huge number of young people starting degree courses. Things are set to change radically as of 2020. That makes it important firstly to train the people the Federal really needs.


Engineer training is crucial here. Secondly, the surplus capacities of universities could be used to offer lifelong learning in the form of advanced training measures.


Participants also agreed to look in more detail at the issue of digitalisation in future.




Office of Labour Affairs in Berlin – 5 August 2013