Supported by:

German British Forum


Claus Oellerking, Vocational College for Trade and Logistics in Bremen

  • Speaker Role: Education & Training
  • Speaker Details: As a Head Principal of Vocational College in Bremen Claus Oellerking is an expert on the Dual System of Vocational Education & Training

Claus Oellerking is head principal at a vocational college for wholesale trade, foreign trade, logistics and transport in Bremen.

His career has led him into different functions in companies within the industrial, trade and financial services. Over the past 25 years he has been working as a teacher, counselor and school principal in vocational schools in Lower Saxony and Bremen in Germany, as well as abroad, for instance in Brazil.

Since 2000 Claus has also been monitoring and advising individuals and groups, developing a second career in coaching. He now, in addition to his duties as head principal, accompanies people in the context of solution-oriented coaching, following a more process-oriented approach of Anne Wilson Schaef. In 2012 he completed an Education for Coaching degree at Erickson College International, Vancouver, Canada.


Claus Oellerking and Almut Lüpkes will offer an insight into the Dual System of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Germany

The basis for the VET is a contract between the training companies and the trainees. The dual learning takes place in the companies and the vocational schools: the company is responsible for teaching the skills, the vocational school for the theoretical knowledge and education. The training usually lasts 3-31/2 years and ends with a final examination.

During the training, the company pays the young people a training allowance. The framework for the training – training content, testing conditions – will be agreed for each occupation by consensus of employer representatives and trade unions and adopted by the Federal Government. In this way, the high quality standard of education is provided nation-wide.

The dual system of VET has a high priority in Germany. Over half of an age cohort (2012: 55.7 %) passes through a training in one of about 330 state-recognized training occupations. Nationwide, there were about 1.43 million trainees at the end of 2012.

A decisive advantage of the dual vocational training system is its proximity to the employment system. On one hand, it allows companies to train their junior specialists for their special needs. On the other hand the apprentices have an extremely good chance of obtaining permanent employment. Therefore it is an essential prerequisite for independent living and participation in society. According to European statistics, Germany has recorded with less than 8%, the lowest youth unemployment in Europe.