Bettina Kohlrausch, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
This report was featured as a chapter in ‘Overcoming the Youth Employment Crisis : Strategies from Around the Globe’, a joint report co-authored by the global partners of JustJobs Network.
During the last two decades, however, the transition from school to vocational training has changed, particularly for low-educated young people – those with lower secondary degrees or less education. Rising numbers of youth fail to start regular training immediately after leaving school. Instead, they often enter schemes of the so-called transition system. The transition system is constituted by all kinds of training, education and labor market schemes that are meant to facilitate the transition from school to training, but do not provide approved vocational certifications.
This report assesses the extent to which the transition system is providing effective linkages between school and formal vocational training for vulnerable young people in the German labor market. First, it discusses two different explanations for why transition system programs are growing. The next section describes the transition system and who enters it, providing an evaluation of the system’s ability to channel young people toward positive employment outcomes. Finally, the chapter highlights some of the system’s success stories and discusses ways forward to ensure that Germany’s globally lauded vocational training system continues to put young people on a path toward high-quality employment.