GATE - German Apprenticeship Training Exchange
GATE (German Apprenticeship Training Exchange) is a grant program of the Joachim Herz Foundation (JHF) that aims to make it easier for trainees to gain experience in the United States and in Canada and to share ideas and knowledge between peers. Transatlantic projects play an important role for the Joachim Herz Foundation, based on its founder’s close ties to the U.S.
The program GATE supports new or existing exchange projects between German vocational schools and partner schools or colleges in the U.S. or in Canada with grants of up to €20,000. All German vocational schools are eligible to apply and can allocate parts of the German grant to fund a visit of U.S.- or Canadian students and faculty from its partner college to Germany. The application must be submitted by the German vocational school, which will receive the approved funds in the form of a donation. Learn more about the GATE program in our flyer.
Helping Trainees Gain International Experience
Promoting intercultural exchange between young professionals (“Azubis”: vocational students and apprentices) is one of the core activities within the program area “Personal Development” of the Joachim Herz Foundation. Germany’s dual vocational education in technical, business, and numerous other trades is an important and popular career path. It combines employment as an apprentice at German companies and classroom learning in structured course programs at vocational schools at the same time.
The opportunities for trainees to gain international experience during their training period are limited. Whereas around 30% of the German students in higher education gain international experience during their studies, so far only 5% of “Azubis” have this opportunity, even though the interest in internships abroad has risen among trainees. In order to close this gap in funding, the JHF offers the funding program GATE plus the programs “Azubis Go USA” and “Azubis go Canada” which enable trainees to complete an internship in the U.S. and in Canada.
Transatlantic Day of Networking
At the annual Transatlantic Day of Networking, the JHF brings together representatives from German vocational schools and North American colleges, companies interested in or already offering apprenticeships for German Azubis, chambers of commerce and workforce development agencies as well as professionals active in the field of international exchanges. Participants from other transatlantic exchange programs (high schools, career academies, universities etc.) are welcome to join.
Virtual Day of Networking: Exploring the ‘New Normal’ in Transatlantic Exchanges
This year, the virtual Transatlantic Day of Networking took place on November 16, 9:00 am -12:30 pm (EST).
Together with participants from Germany, the U.S. and Canada, we explored what the ‘new normal’ in transatlantic exchanges will look like.
International exchange programs have been hit hard since the start of the pandemic in 2020. To keep connections going during times of travel restrictions, innovative virtual formats emerged. What have we learned from these new formats? What will remain of them once in-person exchanges resume? How can we use this information to enhance future trainee exchanges?
We discussed these topics in the context of current developments in the areas of transatlantic cooperation, putting a special focus on participatory approaches and blended learning models.
U.S. Consul General Darion Akins invited to Transatlantic Day of Networking 2021 (video on YouTube)