If you have noticed, even as economic crises shakes up the entire Eurozone, Germany’s manufacturing and export industry remain stedfast as a powerhouse. This is highly intriguing.
More impressively, amidst the sovereign debt crisis, regardless of how high the overall unemployment rate is, youth unemployment remains below 8% at all times. In Spain and Italy, youth unemployment rate hover at 56% and 38%. All over Europe, it is common to see youth unemployment twice as high as the national average.
I was fascinated with this, so I did some reading. I came to understand that the low youth unemployment rates in Germany is due to their dual vocational training system. It is a system that many other European nations are trying to emulate and learn from.
How does the system work? There are two ways. The first one has students spend one or two days in school acquiring theoretical knowledge about their specialisation. The rest of the time will be spent at a company, where students get to apply their newly acquired knowledge, for example by learning to operate machinery. The second way puts more emphasis on school syllabus, which is then complemented with real world experiences. This method primarily serves career options in the service industry, such as nursing and teaching.
As university graduates all over the world struggle with unemployment, Germany’s vocational training system stands as a gigantic pillar holding up the economy. It solves problems that the conventional education system cannot solve, and puts more emphasis on application of skills rather than theoretical knowledge. It ensures that students are fully in touch with what the industry needs.
You may wonder: isn’t vocational training for people who are considered failures by the conventional education system?
Many may think that way in Malaysia. To us, vocational training is the less favourable option, only for people who do not make it to university. This is not the case in Germany—people who opt for vocational training are not looked down upon because the government has long integrated vocational training into the mainstream education system. About two-thirds of youths choose to enter vocational training every year, as opposed to one-third who chooses university.
People who choose vocational training do it for many reasons: some out of passion for technical service, some with the intention to discover their real interest, and some because they do not qualify for university.
Today, many equate graduation to unemployment. This does not happen in Germany, because many students have already decided on a vocation after high school and are equipped for the workplace. The vocational training system ensures that students are immediately employable, and companies often choose to retain these students as permanent staff after their training. This also benefits companies as it saves them time and resources in the recruitment process.
Let’s look at unemployment in Malaysia.
The Department of Statistics Malaysia tells us that unemployment rate among people aged 20-24 makes up 8.8% of total unemployed citizens. This is much worse than people aged 25 and above.
To address the problem of youth unemployment, the government has also proposed integrating vocational training into mainstream education. The purpose is to equip youths with a skill, increase their competitiveness and improve employability.
Unfortunately, many Malaysians see vocational training as their last resort, and always seek to enter university at all cost. Even the Philippines has realised that vocational training is the only solution for youth unemployment, and has made policies accordingly.
Research also shows that vocational education not only helps fulfil market demands, it also helps increase the supply of skilled labour in the nation. This ultimately pushes us one step closer to the 2020 Vision.
It is worth noting that the government recognises that our current vocational training system is not enough to cater to the needs of students. For this reason, I believe the government should research into providing a solution. With the effort from the government and cooperation from companies, we can definitely devise better strategies to train our youths, increase their competitiveness and reduce youth unemployment.
I believe in giving back to society, just as we have benefited from it. Corporations should seek to help our youths in developing their skills. Our young people are the future, and we should put more emphasis on properly maximising their talents. When their abilities are harnessed, we can expect a new generation that can provide us solutions to societies problems.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]德国经济傲视欧美 关键：职业教育的成功
根据国家统计局（Department of Statistics Malaysia）的数据显示，年龄介于20至24岁的群体占据了大马总失业率的8.8%，失业问题比25岁以上的群体来得更严重。