Securing skilled labour: universities call for greater cooperation between education sectors

16. May 2024

To better meet the growing demand for skilled labour in Germany, the universities that are members of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) are calling for widening the cooperation between school, vocational and higher education. On Tuesday in Fulda, the HRK General Assembly adopted a resolution on this topic, which identifies key action areas and measures, in particular to prevent students dropping out of training and studies, as well as to ensure mutual permeability and cooperation between educational sectors. 

"Supporting and guiding young people on their educational pathway so that they can successfully complete an apprenticeship or degree programme or continue their individual educational career more easily elsewhere if they change their course of study or training must be given higher priority. Open-ended career and educational counselling, which provides individual and well-founded perspectives and options, forms the basis for this," explains Prof Dr Ulrich Bartosch, HRK Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education. 

To achieve greater flexibility in personal educational pathways, the transitions between academic and vocational education should also be further improved and cooperation between the educational sectors should be promoted, for example in the area of dual study programmes. "With this resolution, the HRK reaffirms its commitment to the parity of educational sectors and emphasises its commitment to securing skilled workers. At the same time, it calls on all partners and the federal and state governments to create suitable framework conditions so as to be able to fulfil these tasks effectively," says Bartosch. 

HRK President Prof Dr Walter Rosenthal affirms: "Universities see themselves as part of a complementary but systematically permeable education system that provides young people with the best possible support in gaining qualifications and realising their personal potential. The educational sectors complement each other with their respective strengths and thus jointly contribute to reliably fulfilling the demand for skilled labour." 

Text of the resolution