BIBB and South Africa develop vocational training institute
The Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) is helping South Africa build up a vocational training institute. The South African Vocational Training Institute is expected to be up and running in 2015.
Ms. Verfürth, since 2013 the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) has been helping South Africa build up a Vocational Training Institute. Where do the weaknesses of the education system lie?
Metal-working trainees in the German region of Bonn/Rhein-Sieg
(© picture alliance/JOKER)
Our South African partners spoke of the lack of coordination between theoretical and practical training as a key challenge. South African companies often also don’t see any added value in training skilled workers; they tend to regard it as a financial and human resources burden. Further challenges mentioned by our partners included the inadequate qualifications of the trainers and unstructured and poor quality assurance.
Can you simply adopt the German dual model in South Africa?
It would be impossible to transfer the complete system one-to-one because the local conditions are different. We advise our partners on elements of the German dual system that have to be adapted to local conditions.
The South African Vocational Training Institute will only be up and running in 2015. What does your work now entail?
We are continuing to promote the exchange of experts. That does not only involve receiving delegations or exchanging ideas, but also stays at the BIBB by visiting researchers. Among other things they can pursue their own research here and act as opinion leaders when they return to their institutions. We are also supporting our partner ministry in planning the South African Vocational Training Institute.
Several major German companies are active in South Africa. What role are they playing in establishing the dual training model?
Some of them have created their own stand-alone solutions – for example, in the form of training programmes. In this context they often cooperate with an institution that provides the theoretical part of the training. These solutions are usually found in big corporations. A cluster approach would be possible for small and medium-sized companies, but up to now hardly any alliances of this kind have been formed.
To what extent does Germany benefit from your work in South Africa?
German companies increase their productivity, of course, when they can overcome their shortage of skilled labour by hiring qualified employees or training them themselves. This in turn can lead to further investment, which benefits both sides.