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German President urges mixing theory and practicals

Joachim Gauck highlights value of vocational training at meet.

Bangalore | Published: February 8, 2014 4:30:17 am
German President Joachim Gauck with Infosys chief N R Narayana Murthy in Bangalore Friday. PTI German President Joachim Gauck with Infosys chief N R Narayana Murthy in Bangalore Friday. PTI

Addressing a conference on tackling the skill gap in the Indian workforce, German President Joachim Gauck on Friday highlighted the importance of vocational training to improve employability.

The two-day conference, organised by Infosys and the Germany-based Bertelsmann Foundation, is aimed at professionally equipping India’s young population. Germany has a tradition of combining theoretical education in schools with practical training on the shop floor.

India and Germany signed an MoU in 2011 to identify areas of cooperation in vocational training. As a result, the Karnataka German Technical Training Institute (KGTTI), with centres set up in Bangalore and Gulbarga, now imparts training across disciplines in IT, automobile engineering, manufacturing, industrial automation and other areas.

“The German dual system is not directly transferable, but the conference provides important food for thought to improve the quality of vocational education in India and to give even more young people hope for the future,” said Liz Mohn, Vice-Chair of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Representatives of Indian and German companies, such as Bosch, BMW and Volkswagen, who attended the conference, also expressed support for vocational qualifications.
Later, the German President visited the Bosch Vocational Centre and was given an overview of the vocational training and skill development.

During the BVC walk-through, Gauck was taken around the workshop and the mechatronics lab, where he interacted with the apprentices and learned about their experiences with the German model of vocational training.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “German companies provide vocational training not only for own needs, but also for the market, in general. And this collaboration between business community and the government can serve as a model.”

In its effort towards providing skilled workforce, BVC contributes to the growth of the country as the apprentices here are trained on high international standards enabling them to find employment in various industry sectors in India and abroad.

Gauck said Bosch as a company had always been acknowledged for its commitment to building talent and contributing back to the industry, beyond financial gains.

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