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This special edition singles out some of the current subjects to be discussed within the professional community and by the interested public at national, European and international level. The articles address three topics that have become highly pertinent over recent years (Digital Transformation – VET 4.0, Transitions to Work and International VET Reforms). By pointing out these topics and publishing them in English, we hope to give you an insight in trends and progress within the German system of vocational education and training (VET) and to encourage the discussion on many levels.
Digitalisation and artificial intelligence continue to be decisive topics within politics, trade and industry, and society. BIBB has acted in a timely manner to address the associated question as to what consequences will ensue for the world of work and employment. Extensive research and development findings now provide a basis for delivering responses.
Between 2016 and 2018, a project team at BIBB conducted occupation screenings as a part of the BMBF/BIBB initiative “VET 4.0 – Qualifications and competencies of skilled workers for the digitalised work of tomorrow”. The impacts of digitalisation were investigated for 14 recognised training occupations. The present article describes the approach adopted in the project and pools findings from the various sub-studies. The focus is directed towards competencies that are evaluated as being particularly important in cross cutting terms. The article concludes by outlining a proposal for how such competencies can be fostered within the framework of an altered didac-tic design to which training regulations are already according consideration.
This article uses two occupations as examples to show that while ongoing digitalisation often leads to similar changes at skilled worker level if considered in general terms, closer investigation of the respective workplaces reveal that these changes exert different occupation-specific effects. Commonalities and differences in the occupations of industrial clerk and mechanic in plastics and rubber processing are highlighted with regard to technologies deployed, changed tasks and new skills requirements. The article concludes with some estimates of the further development of the two occupations given the conditions of digitalisation.
How are tasks and competencies in the agricultural sector changing as a result of digitalisation and networking, and how does vocational education and training need to react? On the basis of technology deployed, this article investigates the issue of how skills, knowledge and competencies are currently changing in the recognised training occupation of farmer, and which requirements and consequences this is creating at the curricular and practical level. In light of the growing significance of process and system competencies and handling data, the teaching module “Information-based agricultural technology” will be used as an example to show how competencies relating to the systematic use of production data can be practically imparted and how trainers can be supported in their daily work.
With the boom in the online trading of goods and services, the significance and scope of e-commerce is growing across all industries. New areas of activity and new organisational and business models are emerging. To meet the growing need for skilled workers in e-commerce a new commercial occupation has been created. The article highlights the background to the revision of the training regulations and describes the occupational profile.
The focus of the digitalisation debate is often centred on technological progress and its diffusion into company processes. Less attention is accorded to the endeavours undertaken by companies to impart required competencies. This article uses the BIBB Training Panel to investigate the correlation between company promotion of competencies and use of technology.
The aim of JOBSTARTER plus projects concerning “Initial and continuing VET in economy 4.0” is to support small and medium-sized enterprises in adapting their training and continuing education to the challenges of advancing digitalisation. At the start of their work, the projects asked companies about the specific support requirements. This article puts together the assessments resulting from this. They provide an insight into the perspectives of training personnel, and the support required.
This part looks at transitions at the so-called “second threshold”, i.e. transitions from initial training to working life. This threshold is certainly a valid object of debate in itself. VET research into the consequences of digitalisation has shown that change processes are gaining in momentum and that new requirements are constantly bringing about realignments in people’s working lives. The articles included here also take account of this development.
Using the example of the BMBF programme “Supporting vocational orientation in inter-company vocational training centres and comparable VET centres” (BOP), this article explores the question of what a funding programme can contribute to the development of a central action area for VET, and the importance of a supporting evaluation in this context.
The key data of the programme and evaluation are outlined in the introduction, and the article concludes with the presentation of the most significant outcomes of the evaluation and the consequences of these for the shaping of vocational orientation.
In light of the rising numbers of students, this article investigates the question of which pupils are planning to commence a programme of VET despite being in possession of a higher education entrance qualification. Data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) is used to identify factors which encourage pupils in their twelfth school year to adopt such a plan. The findings show that influences from within the social environment, the vocational orientation process and evaluations of costs, benefits and opportunities undertaken by the young people are all of relevance. These results finally serve as a basis for the derivation of proposals for vocational orientation.
Although the number of graduates with a bachelor’s degree has risen over recent years, little information is available as to which position such persons assume within a firm and especially with regard to whether they vie for company advancement with those in possession of the formally equivalent qualifications of master craftsman, technician or certified senior clerk. This article presents the results of a company survey, which uses a choice experiment to identify possible competition for appointment to project management positions between persons who have completed advanced training and bachelor’s programmes graduates (dual course of study).
International VET Reforms
Constanza Correa Sarmiento; Martin Klede; Henrik Schwarz
The objective of the project “MoPaDual – Modelo paraguayo de Formación Dual” is to establish dual vocational education and training in Paraguay. At the request of the country’s government, BIBB is advising the Paraguayan Ministry of Labour on the establishment of institutional foundations and on the development of VET standards. This article describes the initial results to emerge from the cooperation, taking the development of occupational profiles and curricula as an example.
In South Korea, state reforms aim to strengthen the quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training (VET). Dual elements have been introduced in secondary and tertiary education and initial steps have been taken to improve the permeability between educational sectors and to strengthen the practical orientation of higher education. On the basis of two programmes, the article illustrates the concrete implementation as well as structural framework conditions of these policies and points out perspectives and challenges.
In 2015, Slovakia passed a new vocational education and training act which also encompasses the introduction of dual training. Its provisions also include stipulations governing new opportunities for cooperation between the state and trade and industry at a national level and between schools and business both regionally and locally. This article presents these regulations and describes initial experiences with implementation by taking the development of training programmes for shoe makers as an example.