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News Release

U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education Sign Six-Party Joint Declaration of Intent with Germany

WASHINGTON, DC Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today ratified a Joint Declaration of Intent with their German counterparts concerning cooperation on apprenticeships, vocational education and training. The signing, during National Apprenticeship Week, represents the firm commitment of the U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce and Education in advancing the Trump Administration’s pledge to create a highly skilled 21st century workforce providing well-paying jobs for American workers.

The new Joint Declaration of Intent will create more formal structures and strategies for the United States and Germany to cooperate on apprenticeship and vocational education including encouraging businesses to establish quality apprenticeship programs in both countries; increasing access to work-based learning, including apprenticeships, for students and workers; fostering cooperative efforts among state and local governments, companies, trade and industry groups, non-profit organizations, unions, and other stakeholders to develop industry-driven apprenticeships and career and technical education systems; and facilitating bilateral exchanges of apprentices and trainers.

“This agreement will help foster the creation of new apprenticeship opportunities for American workers across the country,” said Secretary Scalia. “Today’s joint declaration recognizes the priority the United States and Germany have placed on using work-based learning as a way to prepare workers for prosperous careers.”

“The Trump Administration’s level of cooperation on apprenticeship programs with Germany comes at a critical time as both of our countries are experiencing an economic resurgence,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The Department of Commerce is committed to invigorating our economy and strengthening the American workforce by creating more pathways for American industry to educate and retain skilled workers.”

“An apprenticeship is a tremendous pathway to a meaningful, in-demand career and provides the kind of earn-and-learn opportunity the Trump Administration has championed since day one,” said Secretary DeVos. “The highly successful German track record shows just how powerful and productive apprenticeship experiences can be, both for students and employers. On National Apprenticeship Week, I encourage schools and employers alike to invest in partnerships that are building the workforce of the future.”

The parties will pursue this cooperation by exchanging information, experience and good practices. The two countries will foster partnerships through cooperative activities between businesses and stakeholders involved in apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs, will conduct information gathering visits and expert meetings, and engage in consultations at the federal, state, and local government levels. And the Joint Declaration of Intent will encourage greater understanding and adoption of Germany’s apprenticeship model, which is one of the best in the world.

Sharing the United States’ commitment, the German government ratified the Joint Declaration of Intent with signatures from its Ministers of Education and Research, Economic Affairs and Energy, and Labor and Social Affairs. The jointly-ratified agreement marks an important new chapter in the U.S.-German relationship.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs
November 12, 2020
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Media Contact: Eric Holland
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