FDP dreams of the continuing education revolution in Germany

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Berlin The FDP demands the creation of a second education system for further qualification. This is in times of digitization “a question of national importance,” said the FDP social policy expert Johannes Vogel the Handelsblatt. “Otherwise, we will not be able to compete with the US or emerging nations in Asia.”

In a resolution, the parliamentary group of the Free Democrats outlines what the continuing education revolution in Germany should look like: Employees should be able to save money with state support and the employer's support in a “free space” account with which they can further their education or redirect their career. Low earners should be made possible with a “Midlife Bafög” the further qualification.

Universities and vocational schools want to consistently orient the FDP towards lifelong learning. On the basis of the decision of the parliamentary party, the party now wants to table an application in the Bundestag. In an interview with the Handelsblatt, Vogel accuses the Grand Coalition of thinking too little about further education.

Read the whole interview here:

Mr. Vogel, Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil wants to expand the qualification possibilities for employees in a “work of tomorrow” law. A good idea, right?
In principle, that's a good idea. The problem is that Union and SPD are good at big names of laws, but bad at really big throws. Overall, the labor market and social policies of recent years are characterized by the fact that the Agenda 2010 reforms are reversed in key issues, such as the irresponsible destabilization of pensions. I miss a real 2030 Agenda to make the job market fit for megatrends such as digitization – that's exactly what we need. The welfare state of the future must fit in with the modern labor market. A central topic would be the further education.

Union and SPD take care of it: there is the qualification chances law, there is a national training strategy …
The announcement of a national CPD strategy was one of the potentially most exciting projects of this legislature. But what was this early summer then presented? No more than the financial increase of an existing program, not a single new idea. That's not a national strategy! And the fact that the Federal Employment Agency has new opportunities to qualify employees is absolutely right – that's why we also approved the law last year. But we can not stop the fact that the Grand Coalition can not think of anything more than to look at the possibilities of an authority. Studies show that two-thirds of employees still do not regularly take part in further education in Germany.

Johannes Vogel

The member of parliament is social policy expert of the FDP.

(Photo: imago images / Metodi Popow)

What should happen?
What we as Free Democrats envision is a true second education system for the entire life. We have never learned – that's the idea behind it. For this we have to bring together three pillars: The offers of the Federal Agency, a tax incentive for qualification especially in small and medium-sized enterprises and finally new instruments for supporting personal further education.

So you want to shift this task to the individual employees …
No! We just want to combine three pillars other than the Grand Coalition – on one alone, the new house can not stand. The Federal Agency should be active for employees, if it There is a need for qualification due to the individual situation on the job market or regional economic structural breaks. The companies, in turn, are training because they need good professionals. But we must not think of the issue only in potential crises or in corporate interests. Already, because the life paths are becoming more diverse, we have more self-employed and zigzag CVs. Our job market today is no longer just employees.

How is that supposed to work?
With a free space account for all employees. There is something similar with the long-term accounts already, only it is so far hardly used, because it is coupled to individual companies and not to the individual. We want to change this according to the Swiss example and expand the whole thing to a kind of promoted educational savings, where employees can pay part of their salary tax-free and tax-free. In addition, payments by the employer or the conversion of overtime should be possible.

This can only afford employees who do not have to look at every penny …
For low-income earners, that's precisely why we want to introduce a midlife apprenticeship. Since then the state would pay annually a certain amount, for example 1000 euro, into the account. As at that time the Bafög opened the universities to entire sections of the population, the midlife school could anchor lifelong further education broadly.

But that presupposes that people also want to learn their entire life.
As a society, we have to debate that continuing education is not a burden, but an opportunity for everyone – to broaden their horizons and to be a pilot of their own lives. At the same time, we can renew the promise of social advancement, regardless of age or educational level, and ensure that everyone in the transition can participate well – if necessary, also through professional reorientation. As liberals, we rarely call for the state. But there is almost no major state task as education. And in the 21st century this can not be defined as a one-time completion of a training or study.

Where should the training take place?
We also need to open up the classical educational institutions, ie universities or vocational schools, for the topic. We also need to create digital educational services that are easily accessible and can be used to purchase certificates.

Do not you have to convince the countries, who are responsible?
The creation of a second education system for further qualification is a matter of national importance. The federal and state governments must come together. The education federalism must in the Arrive at the 21st century. Otherwise, we will not be able to compete with the US or emerging nations in Asia. Not the education competition between Bremen and Lower Saxony is decisive, but for example the one between Europe and China.
Mr Vogel, thank you very much for the interview.

More: Digital progress is taking the traditional educational understanding to absurdity. That's why we have to come up with new ideas.

(dayToTranslate) FDP (t) Education system (t) Continuing education (t) Funding (t) Funding (t) Vocational training (t) Interview (t) Vocational training (t) Education (t) Digitalised work (t) Digitalisation (t) Labor market (t) Employment policy (t) Democrats (t) SPD (t) Federal Employment Agency (t) Johannes Vogel

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