Germany is one of the few exceptions to this trend.
"In most OECD countries, intergenerational upward mobility in education is more common than downward mobility – in other words, the percentage of young adults who achieve a higher level of education than their parents is greater than the percentage that achieves a lower level. However, this is not the case in Germany, where 20% of 25-34 year-old non-students have attained a higher level of education than their parents, and 22% of people in this group have attained a lower level (OECD average: 37% upward mobility, 13% downward mobility)."
In contrast, across all OECD countries, 50% of young adults reach the same level of education as their parents: 16%, a high level of education; 21%, a medium level; and 13%, a low level.
To some degree, the prevalence of people in Germany who achieve no more than a medium level of education reflects the country’s “dual system”, in which vocational upper secondary education plays a prominent role. "
Likewise, Germany has been more successful than most OECD countries in holding the line on unemployment during the global downturn. It is the only country in which the unemployment rate has declined in every educational attainment level.
Between 2008 and 2010, Germany’s unemployment rate among
adults with higher education declined from 3.3% to 3.1%;
for adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education, they declined from 7.2% to 6.9%; and for
adults without an upper secondary education, they declined from 16.5% to 15.9%.
By contrast, on average across OECD countries during this period, unemployment rates increased from
3.3% to 4.7% among adults with higher education;
from 4.9% to 7.6% for adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education; and from
8.8% to 12.5% for adults without an upper secondary education .