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Apprenticeship in Germany

The journal « Formation Emploi, Revue française de sciences sociales”, intends to publish a thematic issue on "Apprenticeship in Germany", which will be published in late 2018 or early 2019.
Coordination : Mona Granato (BIBB - Bonn), Gilles Moreau (Université de Poitiers et Comité de rédaction Formation Emploi)
Calendar :
End of April 2017 : a short proposal (5.000 – 6.000 characters) should be sent to Mona Granato ( and Gilles Moreau ( and to the editor (
14 December 2017 : the article should be sent to Mona Granato ( and Gilles Moreau ( and to the editor (
2018 : review of the articles by Formation Emploi.

Germany is (well-) known in France for its apprenticeship system, but do the French really know it ? The first objective of this thematic issue will be to go beyond the superficial (re) presentations of the German dual Vocational and Training system (VET system).

Apprenticeship in Germany must first be grasped in its historical dimension : it is not born ex nihilo. It is part of a wider education and training system in which academic and vocational pathways exist side by side and at the same time complement one another, but where the second is, unlike in France, more socially acknowledged. Understanding that what seems a singularity, from a French perspective, presupposes, first, to look at training and work, certification and qualification, but also to workplace learning and companies. How was this dual VET system established ? Who are the companies providing dual VET (about 22 % of all companies) ? Who are the apprentices ? How to update knowledge and know-how of curricula of training occupations in the light of the economic "needs" of companies ? How are training policies negotiated in the economic sectors ? Which role do the State and the Länder play within this context ? And what are the particularities of the German dual VET system compared to Education systems in other countries ?

Second, there is the question of "quality", the quality of the German dual Vet system. Here, among other things, questions are arising about its functioning and malfunctioning, segregations and segmentations, or even about inequalities in access to the apprenticeship market. The mechanisms of vocational orientation, the relationship between trainer and apprentices, the transitions from school to the dual VET system and then from apprenticeship to the labour market are all key moments representing challenges, both for institutions and organisations and for individuals. Which insights does research provide ? How do public policies take these results into account ? Facing the demands mentioned above, which "strategies" do on the one hand stakeholders of the corporate governance of dual VET system - the federal authorities and the Länder as well as the social partners - and young people and their families on the other hand develop ?

Finally, apprenticeship in Germany is recently confronted with debates that question the future of the education system and the positioning of the dual VET system. Demographic change, lack of dual VET places on the one hand and on the other hand young people seeking without success a dual VET training place - bringing up questions of matching between companies looking for young people and young people looking for an in-company training place -, the decreasing number of companies offering apprenticeship places, a high rate of premature contract dissolutions within dual VET, an increasing proportion of apprenticeship places occupied by young people with a higher education entrance qualification, whilst dual VET is numerically marginal within Higher Education in Germany (e.g. “duales Studium” VET combining apprenticeship with a bachelor degree) - all of these reveal current and future challenges for the educational and dual VET system in Germany. How can we understand the mechanisms and possible issues of these evolutions ?

Open to the fields of economics, sociology, management sciences, education and political science, this call for contributions focuses on apprenticeship and the German dual VET system, but will also pay attention to proposals on initial vocational training, to proposals interested in the relationship between training and employment in Germany and to proposals on international comparisons in these fields which include Germany.

Calendar and submission
End of April 2017 : a short proposal (5.000 – 6.000 characters) should be sent to Mona Granato ( and Gilles Moreau ( and to the editor (, outlining the intention of the contribution (purpose and research questions, theoretical approach, methodology, data base used, originality of the expected results, some bibliographic references). Some keywords should be indicated and the contact details of the author (s) should be specified. This intermediate step is not intended to be selective : it merely aims at getting a general overview for this thematic issue.
14 December 2017 : the article should be sent to Mona Granato ( and Gilles Moreau ( and to the editor ( The article (11 pages, 35 000 characters, bibliography, notes, Times 12, single-line) should be written in accordance with the guidelines of the review : The articles may be submitted in French or in English for the review. Those written in English and which are accepted for publication should preferably be translated into French under the responsibility of the author (s).
2018 : review of the articles by Formation Emploi. Papers submitted will be reviewed anonymously, each by three reviewers, which will be members of the Editorial Committee or external experts. The author (s) will then be contacted directly by the editor-in-chief of the journal, Jean-Frédéric Vergnies.