Dual VET in Germany is viewed as an ideal model the world over. Its reputation is, however, declining in some countries. Fewer and fewer young people are applying for a training place whilst the number of higher education students has risen. How can this development be explained? Two causes are examined in greater detail. Firstly, the loss of recognition of VET because the promise of a middle-class position has been eroded in the wake of growing income inequality. Second, the consequences of education expansion and the associated increasing expectations regarding status. The conclusion is that the reputation of dual training cannot be improved by educational policy measures alone. Any enhancement needs to be embedded in a long-term uplift and a higher degree of societal recognition of qualified skilled work.