Today we toured a BMW Training Academy in Munich, Germany. This is the headquarters of BMW and the largest training academy for apprentices. Unfortunately we could not take any pictures past the gates, but the facilities were outstanding, very clean. There is a vocational site in Spartanburg, SC. BMW uses the dual vocational system that focuses on practical experience, real world, and acquisition of skills with the company, but also the training school of theory training and learning. It is a three year process for students that typically begins at 16 years old. Their goal is a high-qualified staff closely trained to the needs of the company. Nearly 100% of apprentices stay on with BMW. Again, these students are paid during their apprenticeship and education beginning at 16 years old. It is a highly sought after career position in Germany for students to go into the vocational dual system. They have to apply and be accepted. I wish the United States would use this system and students can see that vocational jobs are valued professions.
I am excited to take my students on this journey with me. I am eager to bring back the German history and culture and connect this with our curriculum. My intent is to learn more about the advancements with Germany's renewable energy and help my students and Willow Springs Elementary imagine different futures and the role that they can play in the world.