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Secret to German quality

There is no need to doubt the quality and value of any product that is labeled as ‘Made in Germany’. German products, whether they are cars, equipment, medicine, or services, might have varying prices, but the one thing they have in common is that customer satisfaction is always guaranteed.
Such quality is established and maintained through many factors, including the technology, material, and, most importantly, skills of German people. The high quality of skills is keeping Germany’s unemployment rate at 6.0 percent and the youth unemployment rate at 7.2 percent today. In comparison, the unemployment rate for those under 25 is 54 percent in Spain, 44 percent in Italy, and 24 percent in France, as of 2014.
The high quality of skills also allows almost every German made product to be sold on the global market. It shows that German companies are able to compete internationally. Although those companies manufacture their products abroad, a certain percentage of products are always made domestically, the secret of which lies in the particular set of skills a German worker possesses.
Talented German engineers and highly qualified assemblers are said to be irreplaceable. German workers are highly skilled and can guarantee quality execution. Therefore, they are paid handsomely and have an important place in society,

FOSTERING SKILLS

The manner in which Germans prepare their workforce is completely different from ours. In Germany, vocational education is provided by the government in cooperation with employers. Specialized universities offer classroom education and vocational training, whereas employers provide on-the-job practice, allowing the opportunity to work with a company’s equipment. The young students establish a contract with an employer that they will come and work for them after receiving training for 3 to 3.5 years, and after sacquiring a professional license. The employer gives scholarships to students during their school years.
In Mongolia, vocational education is provided by public universities and private institutions, while there is no involvement whatsoever from economic entities. The students start seeking employment only after they have graduated. When public universities are required to find jobs for their graduates, it reduces a young person’s sense of responsibility. A German hunter aims before shooting while a Mongolian hunter shoots at the sky and hopes the bullet finds its target.

Mongolia’s 76 vocational education and training schools are referred to as Vocational Training and Production Centers (VTPC). One third of our VTPCs are private institutions and the rest are managed by the government. Thrity-two VTPCs are located in the capital and the others are in the countryside. In 2014, the total number of students enrolled in VTPCs was around 42,000, 10,000 of which went to private institutions.
One third of the nation’s 38,000 university graduates and 40 percent of the 18,000 VTPC graduates found a job in their first year after finishing school.
Although thousands of young people with diplomas and certificates are added to the workforce every year, it is reported that Mongolia’s unemployment rate is 34,000. Also, it is reported that approximately 9,000 expatriates come to work in Mongolia each year. However, around 30,000 Chinese and North Koreans have been working here. Employers value them, saying that they get paid less than Mongolians and have better skills and discipline.
Germany has a special system where vocational education is provided in cooperation with the government and the private sector. Every business is interested in turning their workplace into an environment where vocational training is practiced. Most businesses are small or medium enterprises and often are family businesses. Therefore, established companies pay special attention to their human resources and have a strong interest in fostering skills from the beginning. One can complete the next stage of vocational education and become a master. A permit for business is only given to a master who has developed higher skills. Such permits are required because it is believed that if anyone can open any business they want, it will diminish the reputation of the ‘Made in Germany’ brand. A loan for a master’s program is provided by a development bank partly owned by the government. If a borrower establishes a business, creates jobs, and provides employment after graduation, one third of the loan is waived. This is a good, targeted education system.
Every business in Germany is required to be a member of a chamber, which provides all kinds of benefits. The chamber oversees the quality of vocational education offered by businesses. As an outcome of this system promoting vocational education and skills, government involvement in business has been heavily reduced. It makes it implausible for government officials to do business and be in a situation where there is a conflict of interest.

PROMISING STARTS

In recent years, there have been certain initiatives implemented to improve the skills of graduates from public and private vocational education institutions. Also, some attention has been directed to the lack of a full vocational training curriculum for middle aged people with no profession looking for jobs. It is widely accepted that creating jobs is the best way to fight poverty.

It is a good start for Mongolia that a vocational education and training project based on partnership has begun with support from Germany, Australia, and Switzerland. Furthermore, initiatives for vocational training in areas such as electricity, construction, plumbing, heating, and ventilation have started in the western and southern provinces. It would be more efficient if this type of training was given through cooperation between the government and businesses.
This system, where vocational training is jointly managed by the government and businesses, is beneficial to both parties. The government does not need to invest in high cost equipment for training, but still prepares a highly skilled workforce. It creates a social group that receives good pay, a stable income, and has strong purchasing power. As a result, customer satisfaction is increased and private businesses have better competitiveness and improved productivity. It expands the tax base for the government.
The private sector makes up for its spending on vocational education by improvements in productivity and ensures itself a skilled line of workers. It contributes to strengthening corporate social responsibility and improving the quality of products. It is time that the Mongolian government and the private sector cooperated to manage technical and vocational education.

Trans. by B.AMAR

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13851

Posted by on Mar 23 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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