OTTAWA – Canadians have much to learn from Germany’s famed apprenticeship system despite doubts it could succeed in Canada, Jason Kenney said as he wrapped up a fact-finding mission into how the European powerhouse streams its youth into skilled trades.
“Sure, we can’t pick up the German system and transplant it to Canada — that would be ridiculous,” the employment minister said in a telephone interview, adding it was a “lazy point of view” to be dismissive of the long-established German partnership among government, schools and business.
“Closer collaboration between the education system and employers is so important. Giving kids relevant information about what kind of education is likely to lead to promising careers and remuneration — these things don’t have to be unique to Germany.”
Kenney said Ottawa and provincial governments can also look at “ways of massively expanding paid co-op opportunities for students during post-secondary education” and consider “reinventing” vocational high schools.
The minister has been leading a 30-member delegation of Canadian politicians from five provinces, along with business and labour union representatives, on a trip to Germany and Great Britain to learn about their apprenticeship programs.