Apprentice system in Germany. What could we learn from this?
When it comes time for college in Germany, young people can go to school and study a purely academic array of coursework. Or they can get their hands dirty and enter into a government assisted apprenticeship to learn a particular trade or craft.
How does it work?
The student chooses the craft he or she would like to learn and spends part-time learning the craft hands-on with an actual employer/company and part-time in a classroom learning broader theoretical subjects, related to the craft, at a college. These courses are designed by the employer, government and associated trade unions.
The trades run the gamut from shoe repair to wooden toy making to bike mechanic to industrial HVAC. If you understand German you can go to this government website to see the wide array of apprenticeships available.
Not only does the student end up learning an actual craft or trade during their college years, but they earn a wage of about 1/3 of what they would get when they are working in this field. The employer and the government split this cost.
See the BBC article Young and Unemployed for more on this subject.
Can you envision a strong government-sponsored apprenticeship system in this country? How do you think this would help or not help our current unemployment figures?