With backing from the German Trade Office Taipei, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) has launched a vocational training project introducing Germany's "dual system" apprenticeship to the nation for the first time, a CLA official said yesterday.
"This is the first time we have seen a system like this in Taiwan," said Chiang Wei-kung (
The system, which has a distinguished heritage in Germany going back more than a century and plays a major part in the European powerhouse's international competitiveness, sees junior college undergraduates receiving work experience in the private sector.
With the introduction of the system, officials hopes to increase the international competitiveness of Taiwanese youth who don't attend universities.
The CLA will launch the new policy by pairing schools with enterprises, with qualified students spending two-fifths of their time taking courses in junior colleges and the remaining three-fifths learning job skills in their paired companies, Chiang said.
Students will pay only half of their school fees and receive a 50 percent wage from the company they are assigned to.
"The project puts the needs of enterprises first," Chiang said.
Students wishing to take advantage of the new system will sit aptitude and basic English tests held by the CLA and Ministry of Education before being interviewed by prospective employers.
The German Trade Office Taipei will provide teaching material and train "seed instructors," who will work with apprentices in companies and ensure the scheme follows guidelines laid down by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, or the DIHK as it is known by its German initials.
More than 800 lucky graduates will be picked from a total of 10 colleges with the first students entering the system at the beginning of September.
Students completing the project will receive a diploma from their junior college as well as a DIHK certification of their professional training.
The government will subsidize participating companies NT$150,000 for each apprentice. Seventy-nine companies are taking part in project and the government has earmarked a total of NT$240 million for subsidies.