Vocational Teachers and In-Company Trainers in Mexico: Under-Trained and Under Pressure

  • Kristina WiemannEmail author
Reference work entry


Mexico enjoys dynamic industrial growth and is seen as one of the world’s largest economic centers. Its demographic profile is favorable to this growth, with nearly one fifth of the population aged 15 to 24. Against this backdrop, vocational education and training (VET) is particularly relevant, yet it enjoys only low status in Mexico. Vocational training is considered an option only for those young people who cannot afford high university fees or who fail the university entrance examinations. Their peers prefer to enter the labor market immediately after finishing school, without “wasting time” on technical education of any kind. Meanwhile, companies complain of the inadequate quality of formal vocational schools, including the low level of qualifications held by teachers.

This study focuses on these issues and aims to shed light on the Mexican educational and VET system. Particular attention is paid to training for vocational school teachers. The study also explores the work of in-company trainers in production companies, their educational background, and how their activities fit into the wider context of the educational system.

The findings show that vocational school teachers are inadequately prepared for their role, since there is no formal training for VET teachers. They also address the demand for well-trained trainers and train-the-trainer provision at company level. Most companies rely for their supply of trainers on workers who, while technically experienced, have not been trained to teach and therefore have little, if any, pedagogical and methodological knowledge. This creates challenges, especially in the manufacturing sector. As production processes become increasingly complex, companies − both national and multinational − are in growing need of skilled workers for their production operations. For specialist positions in particular, task-specific on-the-job-training (OJT) by experienced colleagues is of only limited value. As a consequence, there is a huge demand for methodologically and technically well-qualified trainers to improve in-company training.


Mexico Teacher Education Educational Reforms Dual Vocational Education and Training 



I gratefully acknowledge financial support for this study as part of the research project “Global strategies and local forms of technical vocational education and training in German multinational companies: A comparison across Emerging Economies” (Grant No. PI 418/5-1). I would like to thank the project partners Matthias Pilz, Martina Fuchs and Judith Wiemann for their constant help and inspiration for this research.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Economics and Business Education and German Research Center for Comparative Vocational Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)University of CologneCologneGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Volker Wedekind

There are no affiliations available

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