The German Apprenticeship model is one important factor for the high practical education levels and productivity in German mid sized firms (Mittelstand). It is a dual system, which means that apprentices spend about 50-70% of their time in companies and the rest in formal education. Depending on the profession, they may work for three to four days a week in the company and then spend one or two days at a vocational school (Berufsschule). This is usually the case for trade and craftspeople. For other professions, usually which require more theoretical learning, the working and school times take place blockwise e.g. in a 12–18 weeks interval. These Berufsschulen have been part of the education system since the 19th century. For more information on the German Apprenticeship model, check out the following links. The model is currently being evaluated in the UK, US and several European countries. Of course it is not a silver bullet solution and needs to be carefully evaluated and adjusted for other environments. It is not a one-size-fits-all but a very effective system to train skilled staff in many different professions.
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