German automakers to join new vocational program

By Julie Kim Jackson
  • Published : Mar 6, 2017 - 15:39
  • Updated : Mar 6, 2017 - 17:51
The Korea-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Korea and BMW Group Korea, announced the launch of Germany’s advanced vocational training system “Ausbildung” here Monday.

The German educational program in Korea is an on-the-job training and academic system geared toward nurturing technical professionals, particularly young students interested in pursuing careers in the automotive industry.

“The dual education training system has a very long tradition in Germany. It provides industries, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, with skilled workers,” said Germany’s Ambassador to Korea Stephan Auer, during a press conference held at the Millennium Seoul Hotel on Monday morning.

“Skills drive economic growth and enhance productivity. In many cases, these skills do not necessarily need to be academic,” Auer added. “It is much more important for specialized companies to have specialized workers with practical skills.” 

From left, BMW Group Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon, Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Stefan Halusa, Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Lee Joon-sik and Mercedes-Benz Korea CEO Dimitris Psillakis pose at the signing of a memorandum for understanding for the new Ausbildung vocational program at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on Monday. (Yonhap)

The dual-education system has been introduced in 30 nations worldwide across 350 professional fields. In Korea, the Ausbildung degree program will be implemented by Doowon Technical University and Yeoju Institute of Technology.

Slated as a three-year vocational course, the program is expected to start on Sept. 1 and consists of 30 percent theoretical education at vocational schools and 70 percent practical training. Students will receive training at the company sites of Mercedes-Benz Korea or BMW Korea, increasing their potential for landing full-time positions at one of the two major German automakers in Korea or abroad.

“Ausbildung has already proven to be a successful model in Germany,” said Mercedes-Benz Korea CEO Dimitris Psillakis.

“This is a program in coordination with the German education system ... it opens greater opportunities in our industry in Korea, I would say guaranteed -- because they are already ready -- that they (Ausbildung students) would be employed by our dealer network,” Psillakis said. 

BMW Group Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon said, “If you look at the past 30 years of economic growth in Korea, no one would dispute the fact that we were able to develop because we used people as a main resource. ... If you look at Korea, people have been the center of our development and they are the future.” 

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