Explore three pupils’ vocational learning, for KS4 providers Germany has a reputation for providing some of the best vocational training in Europe. Famously, it is supposed to have avoided stigmatising young people whose forte is not academic learning. However, the system is not without its problems. It may not stigmatise, but it does label students as academic or not at an early age.

We follow three contrasting young people in Bremen at various stages in their education. Geraldine is studying law at the University of Bremen. She took an academic route through school and has continued in this vein at university. Georg is training to be a car mechanic. Under the ‘dual system’ in Germany, each week he spends three days working in a garage and two days studying at college. Melissa is studying in the Hauptschule – the most vocational of the secondary-school models within Germany’s three-tier system. How has education been for them?

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