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What Can the UK Learn from German Vocational Plumbing Courses?

by Kris 14. December 2011 16:56

It may seem like we’re subscribing to the old stereotype of clinical German efficiency, but the German vocational training system is extremely impressive. From plumbing courses to ‘mecatronics’ apprenticeships, the Germans do it better.

With the UK vocational system long overdue for an overhaul, what can we learn from the German system that will improve the way this country administrates plumbing courses and other forms of vocational education?

Why do we need change?

In March this year the Wolf Review found that the lack of consistency and regulation in vocational education in the UK was having a knock on effect on the quality of the education students were receiving. This in turn was shown to affect the skills base in our country. Following the report, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, implemented an overhaul of the system. This overhaul was supposed to ensure all providers of plumbing courses, and other vocational training, were working to the same standard and general curriculum.

Unfortunately this overhaul has foundered. The complexity of organising thousands of disparate providers to ensure they conform to an overall standard has forced the changes to run aground. Many providers of plumbing courses and electrician courses are prepared (Access included) but a significant number are lagging behind.


Why are German plumbing courses so good?

Across the channel, in the current European economic heartland, the Germans have had an enviable vocational education system in place for over 40 years. It is based on a law called ‘Berufsausbildungsgesetz’, which unifies the whole vocational training system, making it the responsibility of the government, the trade unions and chambers of trade and industry. This guarantees the high standard of plumbing courses and is one of the driving forces behind Germany’s powerhouse economy. The high level of exceptionally skilled labour in Germany is testament to its vocational education system.

Another reason the German system works so well is that it is closely integrated with the academic school system in the country. It is far easier for the youth to undertake an apprenticeship in Germany, which means a whopping 51% have successfully completed an apprenticeship. This hands-on, company-driven approach makes a real impact on the level of skill in Deutschland.

What’s next for vocational training in the UK?

The reasons the German system works so well are very similar to the direction Gove was looking to take plumbing courses and other training courses in the UK. A unified system, a more hands-on approach, integration with academic grades, all of these moves would make a big difference, yet it may take the UK a while to reach this point.

In the meantime, if you are looking to enrol on plumbing courses, or alternative vocational courses, speak to the training provider who knows the lay of the land. Here at Access we understand how plumbing courses, electrician courses and carpentry courses ought to be run, and we are passionate about teaching people the skills they need to succeed. Contact our team today to talk about enrolling on plumbing courses and more today! You can reach us at 0800 345 7492.

 

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