CPCC to host German-US workshop on vocational training

last modified Oct 27, 2016 08:45 AM

Central Piedmont Community College will host the “Innovation in Vocational Education and Training (i+VET)” workshop organized by the Transatlantic Core Group (TCG) of the Wasan Island Future Initiative (WIFI) Nov. 4, at the Harris Conference Center.

TCG is a coalition of rising leaders from multiple sectors who work toward strengthening the transatlantic relationship between Germany and the United States. The group seeks to go beyond classical discussions on foreign and security policy in order to contribute to shaping future transatlantic relations in innovative ways. The Charlotte workshop will be the fourth session organized by TCG since 2015 and is part of TCG's initiative to establish a robust innovation-idea exchange between Germany and the United States that explores the topic of “talent for the future” through the lens of entrepreneurship and vocation.

The workshop will join a coalition of German and American entrepreneurs, business leaders, subject matter experts and technical support providers to propose solutions that enhance the image of apprenticeship programs in the United States as viable and rewarding educational and career options. Workshop participants will continue to work together after the workshop to carry out any plans they develop.

Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are frequently referred to as the backbone of the German economy. Today, more than 60 percent of the country’s workforce is employed by SMEs, many of which are world leaders and thrive in global niche markets. Germany’s SMEs are heavily invested in and committed to work-based, dual-track vocational training with local educational institutions to train the next generation of skilled workers. Approximately 64 percent of vocational training in Germany is undertaken by these SME partnerships, not by the large global players.

In the U.S., few SMEs offer apprenticeship programs, and few communities have formal vocational training strategies in place to build talent pipelines. The Innovation in Vocational Education and Training (i+VET) workshop is being held in Charlotte, a key hub for transatlantic trade and manufacturing, because of the partnerships CPCC and a number of German companies have established to develop apprenticeship and other dual-track vocational training programs.

The Nov. 4 workshop sessions begin at 9 a.m., with discussions on apprenticeship and entrepreneurship in Charlotte and a roundtable talk with local employers sharing best practices and challenges on developing and investing in apprenticeship programs.