Vocational Education and Training

The system of dual vocational training combines in-company training in the workplace with school education in vocational schools or training centers, and prepares trainees for the successful transition to working life. The hands-on training of skilled workers is a unique feature of the German dual vocational training.

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How can companies ensure a supply of skilled employees for their future demand?

For German companies the answer is by actively engaging in Vocational Education and Training (VET). What makes German VET special, is its practical approach: in the so-called Dual Training System, on-the-job training (70%) in a company alternates with theory training in a vocational school (30%). Hence, dual training is the best way to ensure future employees have the skills the industry demands. This leads to economic strength as well as Germany having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. Therefore, dual training is the default of VET in Germany and there are 327 recognized training occupations.

Dual vocational training has a long history in Germany, dating back to the guilds in the Middle Age. Since the 20th century however, dual vocational training has been formalized and nowadays the legal framework for Germany’s VET system is the Vocational Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz, BBiG) and the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (Handwerksordnung, HwO). The organization and certification of the dual training system is the responsibility of the 79 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and 53 Chambers of Craft (HWK), located all over Germany. The chambers consult on all training-related matters, they register training providers and apprentices, conduct examiner trainings and train-the-trainer courses and examinations, moderate in case of conflicts and organize the examination and certification process of each training occupation.

Not just the German VET system is focused on on-the-job training, more and more countries and industry abroad realize the need for a more hands-on approach in training. Worldwide, over 45 German Chambers of Commerce abroad (AHKs) are catering to the industry’s demand for a skilled workforce by offering vocational training services and certification to more than 2,000 companies.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) is part of this global network and offers various vocational training services, such as:

  • VET council secretariat
  • Consultation on and organization of dual training
  • Train-the-Trainer courses (AdA)
  • Examinations
  • Certification according to German quality standards 


Since 2018, AHK Sri Lanka offers certification, according to German VET quality standards, of a 3-year on-the-job training in Automobile Mechatronics. The program is conducted by our official training partner DIMO Academy for Technical Skills (DATS) (https://www.dimolanka.com/education/dimo-academy-for-technical-skills). For the future it is planned to extend these certification activities which guarantee that German standards are kept regarding quality assurance, transparency and competitiveness.

To ensure these standards, AHK Sri Lanka launched the first VET Council, on the 6th of March 2019, with representatives of different business sectors and VET authorities. The VET Council is an essential instrument to achieve certification of vocational training according to German standards and is an initiative to contribute to the strengthening of demand- and industry-driven Vocational Education and Training in Sri Lanka. Dual vocational training gives apprentices a chance to learn practically the skills demanded by the industry and provides the training company with the chance to train the apprentices exactly according to their requirements.

As a platform for the Sri Lankan industry and with vocational education affiliated institutions, the VET Council discusses VET-related matters and develops suitable approaches in order to improve its quality by formulating needs, adopting resolutions, and recommending a suitable course of action to the official governmental VET representatives. Its members are companies engaged in VET, vocational education school trainers and in-company trainers, as well as representatives from official VET authorities. Founding members of the VET Council are DIMO, Würth Lanka, Mercmarine, CINEC, Chamber of Construction Industry, Fairway Waste Management, Leema Creations Pvt Ltd Interiors, Tudawe Brothers as well as TVEC and VTA.


Train the Trainer – “AdA International”

AHK Qualification Workshop according to German Quality Standards

A crucial element for successful on-the-job training is the qualification and ability of the trainer, as he or she is at the core of imparting relevant skills and knowledge to the trainees learning a new profession. Trainers must be on solid footing professionally and pedagogically in order to inspire enthusiasm in young people and to ensure they learn the right skills for the job. In Germany, the trainer qualification is regulated by the ‘Ordinance on Trainer Aptitude (AEVO)’, which is implemented through the so called ‘AdA Training’ (Ausbildung der Ausbilder – Train the Trainer). The assessment and issuing of the certificates to successful trainers is done by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Participants of an AdA Training acquire the basic knowledge of the core areas of Dual Vocational Training and the skills to design, prepare and conduct effective training sessions for their companies’ trainees. Among others, they gather practical knowledge on instruction techniques and for handling difficult situations in the training place.

AHK Sri Lanka offers the AdA International Training, a course adjusted to the international market, carried out and assessed according to German quality standards and, after successful completion, awarded with a certificate from the AHK Sri Lanka.

Become a training partner

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On-the-job training offers many advantages with direct and indirect economic benefits.


Companies who invest in practical training receive qualified and motivated employees, who are trained according to the company’s specific requirements. This means you know exactly what your employees are capable of and you save time and money of retraining new hires with mismatching or insufficient skills. Furthermore, well-conducted on-the-job training contributes to increased employee’s loyalty to the company.

If you wish to be at the forefront of a new and innovative way of securing skilled employees in Sri Lanka, please contact us at training@srilanka.ahk.de!


Business Scouts for Development

The Business Scouts for Development promote sustainable and responsible engagement by the private sector in around 40 countries across the globe, among them in Sri Lanka. They are development policy experts who advise German, European and local companies on the opportunities for promotion, financing and cooperation available through German and European de-elopement cooperation, facilitate networking with potential partners and initiate cooperation projects. In addition, by supporting business and learning partnerships, the transfer of expertise and targeted support for trade fair participation they not only generate new opportunities for trade but also improve prospects for local job creation. At the Delegation of German Indus-try and Commerce in Sri Lanka, Josef Tschöp is working as Business Scout in the field of vocational training.

Within Germany the Business Scouts provide advice directly through Germany’s top business associations, such as the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) and industry, chambers of crafts and trades, industry associations, state-level associations and – in cooperation with Engagement Global – foundation organisa-tions. In the partner countries they are either integrated into German development cooperation offices or work at German Chambers of Commerce Abroad and Delegations of German Industry and Commerce. The experts therefore bridge the gap between the private sector and development cooperation; companies have better access to new markets, and sustainable development in partner countries receives a boost. The programme is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Ger-man Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Are you interested in getting involved in new markets with your company? Please, contact AHK Sri Lanka, and let us advise you on suitable possibilities and offers to engage with development cooperation!