educational exchange

Ivanka Trump Wants to Learn from Germany

80625041 Ivanka AP
Source: AP

The First Daughter of the United States will visit Germany next week to learn more about its dual education system. In her first interview with a non-US news outlet, she told WirtschaftsWoche, “Germany’s apprenticeship model is a practical and successful example of a true public-private partnership, aligning classroom instruction with real labor market experience and demand.”

Ms. Trump is coming to Germany to attend the W20 summit on April 25 and 26, held in Berlin under Germany’s G20 presidency.

Ms. Trump, a White House advisor, said, “As we think about how to increase the number of apprenticeships in the United States, building off promising efforts led by the private sector and public sector programs like ApprenticeshipUSA, we find there is a lot we can learn from Germany’s accomplishments.” She added, “We began this conversation with both American and German business leaders when Chancellor Merkel visited my father at the White House last month, and I am grateful to be able to accept the Chancellor’s invitation to continue the conversation in Berlin as well as participate in the W20 Summit.”

She underlined that she is committed to learning from Germany’s success and working with US educational institutions to modernize work training models.

Ms. Trump’s visit will include a trip to a Siemens plant in Berlin, according to WirtsschaftsWoche’s information.

WirtschaftsWoche: Do you see yourself as a role model for women’s entrepreneurship?

Ivanka Trump: As a businesswoman myself, I have a personal appreciation for what it takes to be an entrepreneur; both the rewards and the challenges.

I am fortunate that I had many advantages when starting my businesses, and I know that there are so many women who could experience similar success if we provide them with the support they need to launch and grow their businesses. Unique barriers faced by women include access to capital, markets, mentors and networks.

While I am no longer working at the helm of my businesses or working in the private sector, my experience as an entrepreneur inspired me to join my father’s administration and seek out ways to effectively advocate for the education and economic empowerment of women and girls. My father’s administration is looking at ways to unleash the full potential of women in the workforce and as job creators, and I aim to help him achieve this critical goal.

My role as an adult first daughter of a sitting President is unprecedented in modern times, and I am constantly learning and seeking to engage in dialogue with others on how best to be a positive force and effective advocate for women and girls.

What do you expect from your visit to Germany and the visit of German companies?

My father’s administration is committed not only to creating millions of jobs for American workers, but also to ensuring that all Americans have the education and technical skills they need to be successful in those jobs.

One of the most promising models for helping individuals get the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workplace is apprenticeship – an area where Germany has been a great trailblazer. Germany’s apprenticeship model is a practical and successful example of a true public-private partnership, aligning classroom instruction with real labor market experience and demand.

As we think about how to increase the number of apprenticeships in the United States, building off promising efforts led by the private sector and public sector programs like ApprenticeshipUSA, we find there is a lot we can learn from Germany’s accomplishments. There is also a lot we hope to impart, as the speed of technological change makes progressive learning, and hence our bilateral partnership, more essential than ever.

We began this conversation with both American and German business leaders when Chancellor Merkel visited my father at the White House last month, and I am grateful to be able to accept the Chancellor’s invitation to continue the conversation in Berlin as well as participate in the W20 Summit.

Can the German model of dual vocational training be an inspiration for new initiatives in US education? Will you consider partnership projects between the USA and Germany?

Innovation often begins with the ingenuity and determination of our private sector leaders, and is amplified by best practice sharing. I intend to learn from Germany’s successes in this area and return to the United States ready to work with private sector companies, Federal, state and local government leaders, and educational institutions on new and effective strategies for updating our traditional vocational education models.

Many German companies with facilities in the United States are already putting the German apprenticeship model in place. I had the privilege of meeting US apprentices from BMW, Schaeffler and Siemens during Chancellor Merkel’s visit to the White House.

In the United States, companies like Dow Chemical, Amazon, SAP, IBM and Salesforce.com, to name a few, have already developed proprietary and successful models for educating and training their employees to be competitive in the 21st century workforce.

There is always room for improvement and collaboration, and I hope to inspire much more bilateral cooperation and cross-sector partnerships as a result of this visit.

 

Miriam Meckel is the publisher of WirtschaftsWoche. Gregor Peter Schmitz is the business magazine’s Berlin bureau chief. To contact the authors: miriam.meckel@wiwo.de,  GregorPeter.Schmitz@wiwo.de