From 12th to 14th March 2018 the study visit in Munich was organised for craftsmen and small and medium enterprises employers from Croatia, Slovakia and Serbia. The study visit host was the Chamber of Skilled Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria.
On the first day, the host organised the presentation of the Chamber, especially with the emphasis on services they offer to craftsmen. After, participants visited the International Crafts Fair where they had the chance to talk with Mr Heinrich Traublinger, the owner of bakeries and pastry shops Traublinger. Mr Traublinger shared his experiences and reasons for taking apprentices, especially emphasizing that he gladly takes apprentices from other countries and that currently he has apprentices from Japan. Next, participants had the opportunity to talk with Mr Werner Fech, the owner of Fech Fenstertechnik company, which produces and constructs special kind of “sandwich” windows and doors without screws.
On the second day, participants had the opportunity to talk with three employers: Ms Ulrike Schroder from the company Scwarzenberg, Mr Leutsacher, the ceramist, and Mr Wolf Dieter Wittig, the smith. Participants from Croatia, Slovakia and Serbia participated actively and asked questions about the vocational education and training in Germany, especially the apprenticeship. All employers, whom participants met, have currently apprentices and take apprentices for a longer time. Participants were particularly interested to know what apprentices learn at employers and they were answered that apprentices work all tasks related to the occupation same as other workers in order to better prepare for the labour market or to continue working in the craft or company where they learn as apprentices. After organised meetings with employers, study visit participants had the chance to independently see the fair in order to check sectors they were most interested in or were directly related to their occupation.
On the third day, the presentation of dual education system in Germany was organised. Participants had numerous questions for Mr Tobias Mandel, PhD, who was holding the presentation. Also, participants shared their impressions on the study visit with Ms Barbara Peinel, the head of Department for International Relations, and to talk about possible future cooperation on other projects.
The study visit enabled participants to get the insight into the organisation and conducting of vocational education and training in Germany, and the role of the Chamber in the given process. Through discussion with German employers, they had the opportunity to hear and understand their motives for taking apprentices, especially in order to secure themselves the quality workforce. Moreover, the importance of employers’ social responsibility when taking apprentices was emphasized. Visiting the fair and meeting with employers enabled also the insight into the way how German employers advocate for the improvement of vocational education and training system in their country.
The acquired knowledge and experience will be shared by participants to other colleagues in Croatia, Slovakia and Serbia with the aim to involve more crafts and small and medium enterprises in apprenticeship schemes in respective countries.