What is the Dual System?
The “Dual System” is the approach used in Germany and Austria for professional training focused mainly on practical professional work experience in a company, with additionally theoretical and general school parts to complete the training curriculum.
While still in school or right after it, those who choose a professional training instead of a University career look for an apprenticeship position in a company. Once the person is accepted with a labour contract as an apprentice, his or her time is divided between the two activities, on-the-job training and professional school.
The Dual System is a vocational training, not just a professional experience: apprentices “socialise” with their profession, with their colleagues and with the enterprise’s world. They are brought to feel as members of a “community of specialists”, be it craftsmen, industrial workers or qualified employees in the services sector. That raises individual identification with what you are doing: after their apprenticeship a qualified worker in Germany or Austria would never say “I have a job as…” but “I am a… (professional specialist)”.
Dual System vocational training combines school and work experience, and is therefore currently the most efficient way to fill the gap between school and companies, reducing youth unemployment.