It goes without saying that Ministries, whether of Education or Labour or Social Affairs, depending upon national circumstances, have particularly important roles and responsibilities. These include:
- Formulating and adopting a national strategy to promote Quality Apprenticeships in collaboration with the social partners – employers’ associations and trade unions - and other stakeholders;
- Incorporating Quality Apprenticeships into the national development plan and/or the national employment policy, where appropriate;
- Promoting social dialogue on Quality Apprenticeships by means of a formal coordination mechanism;
- Developing and implementing an appropriate legal and regulatory framework, in consultation with the social partners;
- Supervising the implementation of agreed arrangements for funding Quality Apprenticeship training, for example via the collection of levies on the one hand, and the disbursement of subsidies and incentives on the other;
- Supervising the implementation of the accreditation of TVET institutions and programmes based on the established quality standards and of the administration of public and private TVET institutions;
- Supervising the implementation of programmes for training TVET teachers and trainers;
- Engaging in promoting apprenticeship training;
- Monitoring and evaluating the different apprenticeship programmes.
Governments may decide to delegate some of these responsibilities to national agencies, like SOLAS in Ireland (SOLAS. 2015), the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority in Sri Lanka (NAITA, 2017), and the National Council on Vocational Training in India (Government of India, 2017b) - and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), which is presented in box 28.
Box 10: Ministries and public agencies responsible for vocational education and training and employment – Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training – Germany
One of BIBB’s fundamental tasks is to “take part in the drafting of vocational training regulations and other ordinances” in accordance with the instructions of the responsible Federal Ministry (Section 90.3.1 of the VET Act). Research into vocational training establishes the prerequisites for designing, revising and adapting training regulations to keep pace with economic, technological and societal change. An agreement reached between the Federal and Regional (Länder) governments in 1972 lays down the procedure for coordinating vocational training regulations and framework curricula, as will be presented in greater detail in Chapter 9.
In addition to these tasks, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training also:
- Helps to prepare the annual Report on Vocational Education and Training issued by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research;
- Helps to compile VET statistics issued by the Federal Statistical Office;
- Supports and funds pilot projects, including support studies;
- Takes part in international collaborative activities in the field of TVET;
- Assumes on behalf of the Federal Government additional administrative tasks aimed at advancing TVET;
- Supports inter-company training centres and provides assistance in the planning, establishment and ongoing development of these facilities;
- Maintains the official register of recognised occupations that require formal vocational training
- Carries out the tasks described in the Law on the Protection of Participants in Distance Learning and helps improve the quality and increase the amount of vocational distance learning on offer by supporting and funding development projects.
Source: Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. 2011, p. 18.
As has been seen, there are many stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of a Quality Apprenticeship training policy – and their role is essential to ensure that Quality Apprenticeship training corresponds to the needs of apprentices, employers and the state. In addition, families and communities influence young people’s perception of apprenticeships, and have the potential to influence government and enterprises in offering Quality Apprenticeships. Bringing these various stakeholders together in the different consultative bodies is a major challenge, but nevertheless important to ensure that the system enjoys their support – as well as that of the different beneficiaries who are called upon to provide funding (the subject of Chapter 8).