Economy, Business And Markets

Germany's iMOVE Opens Tehran Office to Transfer Vocational Training Know-How

Business & Markets Desk
iMOVE says its task is to support German training providers to catch up with Iranian partners on a commercial basis.iMOVE says its task is to support German training providers to catch up with Iranian partners on a commercial basis.

In a ceremony held at Iran-Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, iMOVE, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) belonging to the international division of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, opened its Tehran office.

Officials from iMOVE, German Embassy in Tehran, Iran’s Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Organization as well as representatives from Iranian companies active in a range of fields, were present at the event.

> History of Cooperation

“The nuclear agreement was signed, and therefore, we expected bilateral relationship and economic ties will increase. Fortunately, there was a format of cooperation between Germany and Iran from the past. This was the Joint Economic Commission, the meetings of which were not held for a number of years but the cooperation was not entirely canceled,” iMOVE head of division for international marketing of vocational education, Ulrich Meinecke, told Financial Tribune.  

He said cooperation between the two sides was revived soon after the lifting of international nuclear sanctions against Iran and a conference was held last year in Tehran in May to resume relations.

There was a big hope, he added, in the German business community that economic ties with Iran will increase.

“In this conference, there was a panel on vocational education and training cooperation. I was the chair of the panel and met with Iranian officials. There, we had the first discussions with TVTO on cooperation between the two sides," he said.

"Afterwards, we had two visits by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to Iran: one in August and another in October of last year to explore the opportunities of cooperation in the field of research on the one hand and vocational training on the other. In January 2017, there was a workshop on similarities and differences between Iranian and German systems of vocational training.”

Step by step, says Meinecke, a format of cooperation was formed with the Iranian side.

> Line of Business

“Today, we opened our platform, our contact point [in Tehran], and our task is to support German training providers to catch up with Iranian partners on a commercial basis. On the other hand, Iranian companies as well as German ones operating in Iran, governmental institutions and public or private training institutes who are interested in catching up with German partners can approach us and we can identify appropriate partners for them. This is our goal on behalf of the BMBF,” he said.

Meinecke noted that the scope of their activity is very wide.

The German training industry can deliver products, for example, equipment and hardware for training workshops and vocational schools. It delivers modern learning and teaching equipment, distance learning, e-learning and digital media requirements. It also develops modern curricula and standards for vocational training.

"We can train in-company trainers how to teach on the shop floor vocational pedagogies. We train teachers of vocational schools on how to teach vocational topics and what to teach,” he said.

The practical part of vocational training in Germany is carried out within a company and not a training institution. Employees learn on the shop floor and in the work process. For that, in-company trainers work with the trainees and support them according to a curriculum.

“iMOVE has a network and is the connecting point. Let’s say there is a German training or equipment provider who wants to enter the Iranian market. Then, we are here to answer a lot of questions such as: Which ministry should I approach? Whom should I contact? Which are the most important private training institutions? Which are the companies in need of my range of products? and so on," he said.

The German official further said Iranian companies in need of vocational training for their workforce or a training institute that wants to improve its services and are in search of a German partner can approach iMove.

"German companies active in Iran, too, can come to us if they feel they have a lack of qualified people and also contact us to get advisory or equipment,” he said.

Meinecke noted that cooperation is defined for 18 months for now, which will be evaluated after 12 months.

"Over the remaining six months, the two sides will make amendments, if any, to their ways of going about doing things to be able to hopefully expand collaborations," he said.

Meinecke announced that talks are underway between TVTO and BMBF, and a memorandum of understanding is scheduled to be signed on cooperation in vocational training in 2017-18.

“We believe we have to enter the Iranian market at an early time, before others, and therefore, we are here now. There are still money transfer issues between the two sides, which make things a bit tricky. We have to see how we can work this out,” he concluded

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