On 12 March 2014 State Secretary Jörg Asmussen received Canada's Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney. Minister Kenney was accompanied by Ambassador Marie Gervais-Vidricaire, Parliamentary State Secretary Scott Armstrong, and Minister of Advanced Education of Saskatchewan Rob Norris.
Minister Kenney is spending several days in Germany to obtain a comprehensive picture of the system of vocational training in the Federal Republic.
"Skilled crafts and trades are foundations of gold" – State Secretary Jörg Asmussen used these words to emphasize the significance of vocational training in Germany. Vocational training, according to the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, was of undisputed importance in Germany and had enjoyed a solid reputation for decades. In his words, "The success is shown by the fact that more than 60 % of persons completing such programs then receive employment contracts from the companies that trained them". Workers in occupations that could be practiced in other countries only after graduation from a bachelor's program of study were successfully prepared in Germany within the framework of vocational training; the nursing and health care system was one such example. This also revealed the quality of the dual system of vocational training.
Minister Kenney and his delegation were additionally interested in learning more about the role played by occupational orientation and counselling measures in helping young persons select occupations and careers.
Minister Kenney and State Secretary Asmussen also spoke with each other about a range of topics of current interest in the area of Germany's employment policy, including a uniform statutory minimum wage, immigration, and the effects of freedom of movement within the European Union.