Roger Heps is in his final year of a three-year apprenticeship at Bayer. The program is part of Germany's vocational-education system.
n a sprawling chemical plant in the town of Leverkusen, in northern Germany, Bayer trains thousands of students every year to become future employees.
Roger Heps, 19, is one of those trainees. He’s learning to run the plant where the primary ingredient in aspirin is manufactured. Heps is in a classic German apprenticeship. It includes on- and off-the-job training, while he studies at a technical college.
Germany’s tracking system divides children up at a young age, placing them on different paths; some students are selected for eight years of university prep school, others for six years leading to an apprenticeship instead of college.
The German apprenticeship system provides for a well-trained workforce, but also gives many young Germans a ticket to the middle class. Youth unemployment in Germany is currently 8 percent, half of what it is in the United States.
Featured in: Marketplace for Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 14:07