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TOP provides information about the German apprenticeship model to North American educators and workforce development professionals via study tours, lesson plans, podcasts, and VR films for a wide range of audiences, including students and parents.


The famous German apprenticeship model is not just a form of employee training. Apprenticeship is a unique way in which employers, schools, postsecondary schools, chambers of commerce, employment agencies, trade unions, and government agencies, all work together to cultivate and craft a skilled workforce, which in turn, promotes the sustainable economic growth of an entire community. Additionally, apprenticeship is a key driver of upward socioeconomic mobility for traditionally marginalized groups. Nearly half of German high school leavers enter the German workforce already at the age of 16 as apprentices in over 350 different occupational fields. Put simply, apprenticeship is the key ingredient of "Made in Germany" quality. TOP is working to provide as much information as possible about the German apprenticeship model to educators and workforce development professionals in North America, hoping they too will work together for the economic growth of their own communities.


"An Apprentice's Story" is a series of at least three podcasts commissioned by the Tranastlantic Outreach Program featuring interviews with actual American apprentices. These recent high school graduates reveal how they became apprentices, who supported them, what their parents think, and what oppotunities lie ahead.

Andrew Splett © Herrmann Ultrasonics

An Apprentice's Story: Episode 1

Episode 1 looks at what happens to a smart young man who doesn’t fit the academic mold, but chances into an apprenticeship with a German-American manufacturing company based outside Chicago.

Isa Brady © Bühler

An Apprentice's Story: Episode 2

Episode 2 follows a young woman with a maverick spirit, who chooses the trades over college and finds her way into an apprenticeship that opens up a surprising world of opportunities to her.


Dein Erster Tag (Your First Day), based in Berlin, works with companies and public partners to provide students and young learners with enhanced perspective of apprenticeship occupations via cutting-edge new media technologies. TOP worked with Dein Erster Tag to translate a selection of virtual reality (VR) films into English with the goal of making them accessible to North American students, teachers, parents, and workforce development professionals.

All English Language VR Films from Dein Erster Tag