CII-KAS Webinar on “India and Germany Strengthening Skills”

-by CII-KAS India

India and Germany have been strong partners in the field of development cooperation. Skill enhancement has become a core focus area for the Indian Government and many initiatives and interventions have been undertaken in this direction to make Indian workers globally competitive. The Skill India Mission was launched in India in 2015, with the objective of transforming the training eco-system and imparting diverse skills to Indian workers with the help of vocational training and certification. Germany has been one of India’s most proactive partners in this area. Germany’s dual system of Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a simple, cost-effective and inclusive model that has been one of the pivotal factors behind the country’s competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. Therefore, India could learn a lot from Germany’s dual system of VET.

Key Takeaways

  • Skill enhancement has become the Indian Government’s core focus, with establishment of an increasing number of universities for vocational education and training to ensure that the objectives of the Skill India mission continue and are reinforced.
  • Skill development and vocational education and training are critical areas identified by India and Germany for furthering the developmental agenda and benefiting both countries.
  • India’s demographic dividend complements the emerging shape of shrinking workforces in major economies. Cooperation between India and Germany on skill development could help create a ready cohort of workers that is empowered to meet global requirements of the future.
  • Germany’s dual system of vocational education and training (VET) is a very simple, cost-effective and inclusive model. It is largely owing to the dual system that Germany has the lowest youth unemployment rate in the European Union. With 328 vocational training occupations, it provides the youth with a broad range of opportunities.
  • With shared complementarities between both sides, India and Germany have high potential for collaboration and should find definitive models for strengthening cooperation in the field of Skill Development, with a focus on gaining significantly from increased cooperation on science and technology, and research and development.
  • In 2015, an MoU was signed on the Cooperation in the field of Skill Development and Vocational Education and Training between the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India, and Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany. Germany imparts theoretical and practical training in schools to support overall social and economic development.
  • Some of the challenges facing the success of the Skill India Mission include the sheer large number of young people entering the workforce: an estimated 12 million each year; mismatch of demand and supply, lack of qualified trainers; and lack of digital tools and access during the pandemic to a large section of the population.
  • Integration of education and skills is critical to the success of any model.
  • GIZ is working closely with the Government of India, as well as the private sector through the Cluster Approach, supporting 40 industry clusters in India which would conclude in mid-2023.
  • GIZ is working with Tech Mahindra under a public-private partnership model to enhance the skills of 10,000 workers in the areas of healthcare, logistics, and digital technologies using Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to enhance the blended model.
  • GIZ is not looking to replicate what is being done successfully in Germany, but to take key elements of what is working well in Germany, and to adapt and apply those models in India.
  • SMEs form a large and important part of supply chains in Germany and are key in production sectors, and they take on large number of apprentices and trainees. The dual system of training in which a part of the curriculum is implemented in the workplace has been very successful because the quality of apprenticeships and training is very good.
  • GIZ is also working to inculcate the system of training in SMEs in India.
  • As India copes with the huge number of workers entering the labor market annually, certain aspects of the German dual system of VET could be anchored even stronger in India.
  • In the face of rapid technological progress, the teaching and learning system needs to be constantly innovated to prepare workforces around the world to meet the specialized demands of the labor market.
  • With industry being the final beneficiary of skilled workers, joint funding of education and training would allow an Indian model of VET to be very much feasible and will assure good quality, as companies would look to maximize return on their investments.
  • India’s New Education Policy 2020 recommends incorporation of vocational skills into school and higher education curricula to attain 50% vocational education exposure for children by 2025.
  • Experience and expertise from Germany where education and skills are well integrated through embedded apprenticeship programs would be useful for NEP initiatives.
  • NSDC is setting up DESH or Digital Ecosystem for Skills & Livelihood, which was announced by the Indian Finance Minister in the recent budget. DESH is expected to reduce the friction in skill development ecosystem.
  • Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) encourages young researchers towards applied research through their Industrial Fellowships programme.
  • RWTH & IIT Madras jointly coordinate the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS). A summer school in Germany and a winter school in India is held twice a year.

To continue reading the whole outcome report kindly refer to the attached pdf on the same website.


Peter Rimmele