On June 27, 2014, in the company of Dr. Suang-Jing Pong, Director of the Germany Office and the Czech Republic Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the ROC (MOST), Dr. Yen-Yi Nicole Lee, Director General of the Department of Technological Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education of the ROC (MOE), personally paid a courtesy call to the Federal Institue for Vocational Education and Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, BiBB) of the Federal Ministry of Educational and Research (Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) in Germany, to wholly comprehend the German way of vocational education and the executions of the education policies. On the day, the group from Taiwan was welcomed and received by the Head of Department 1 of Internationalisation of Vocational Education and Traning Birgit Thomann, and the Head of the Division of International Co-operation and Advisory Services Michael Wiechert.
Director Lee stated here that Premier Yi-huah Jiang of the Executive Yuan of the ROC values and attaches much importance to the vocational-education-related issues in Taiwan, and expects the Ministry of Education to consult the experiences of other countries and essentially advance Taiwan’s. Once the Taiwanese vocational education is made improvements on, the industry workforce needs can be matched much more easily. Germany, in this specific field, is impressively developed and worth being learned from by the rest of the world.
In Germany, the training programs that companies provide their interns with are not allowed to be planned at liberty, said Ms. Thomann. Instead, there are more than 300 core knowledge lessons designed by the BiBB, so that the training received by the interns of the equivalent profession will be done the same way all over the country. Using car companies as an illustration, the training content will be the same in both Mercedes and BMW. If there are additional lessons intended to be given, it requires the consent from the lesson committee.
Addressing Director Lee’s inquiry of how such a unified system is able to come up against the ever-changing and newer and newer needs of the market, Head Wiechert responded with the fact that in the past 44 years since the establishment of the BiBB, the training programs are kept track of being updated consistently. The main sources of opinions come from the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK). In consequence, the ability needs of industrial workforces are directly reflected like a mirror.
Director Lee was deeply enlightened and impressed by the outstanding qualities of the BiBB, such as its meticulous arrangement and careful planning in their system. In the Taiwanese society, small and medium enterprises make up the majority, which leads to the difficulty of providing programs that catch up with current trends when it comes to vocational education. In addition, the General Chamber of Commerce of the ROC holds different qualities and functions to Germany’s, and also does not have any suggestive mechanisms in accordance with the national training programs. Currently, the Ministry of Education is pondering on coming up with a countermeasure to complete and make up the lacking professional training system. (Yi-Ching Lin Jauh, National Taiwan University)