German Federal President speaks on Vocational Education in Bangalore

Addressing some 100 Indian and German business leaders, politicians and academic experts, the German president enumerated the strengths of the "dual system" used in Germany, which successfully provides young people with both classroom instruction and on-site vocational training. "For the system to function, companies must be willing to take responsibility even beyond of their own business operations," Gauck said.

Government funding for vocational schools is one of the considerable benefits provided by the cooperation between public- and private-sector participants, the president emphasized at the conference, which he attended while on a state visit to India.

Experts believe the coming Indian government will face enormous pressure to create an effective vocational training system. In just over 10 years, one-quarter of the world's working-age population will live in India. According to the specialists present at the conference, the degree to which India's up-and-coming workforce receives adequate career training will be the decisive factor determining whether the country experiences a demographic dividend or a demographic time bomb.

Participants at the conference discussed ways of providing 500 young people in India with vocational education in the next 10 years. A key question during the discussion was to what extent the German system can be adapted for use in India.