The tense relationship between occupation-specific and cross occupational competences

Discourses in vocational education and training and unresolved issues

Coverbild: BWP 1/2021
Ausgabe/Jahr (Jahrgang) 1/2021 (50)
Seite(n) 14-17

Cross occupational competences have long been seen as an opportunity to structure vocational education and training on a broader basis and in a more future-looking way. A plea for a core skills concept which would act as a starting point for educational debate and in which the main focus would be placed on the conflicting relationship between occupation-specific and cross occupational competences was published by Mertens in 1974 and still holds general sway. The article uses the following questions to shed light on this conflicting relationship. How can cross occupational competences be delineated from occupation-specific competences? Can occupation-specific competences be transferred beyond their direct action context, and how can they be imparted in initial and continuing training or be acquired at the company? The article states a number of key points relating to the debates and concludes by indicating the necessity of promoting cross occupational competences at the various VET learning venues.

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