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Increasing emphasis is being placed on cross-cutting competencies within the context of coping with change in the world of work. But which competencies are involved, and where does their specific potential lie? The articles included in this issue discuss the interplay between core competencies and occupation-specific professional knowledge and skills and illustrate how core competencies can be fostered in company-based initial and continuing training.
The world of work is undergoing upheavals and changes in the wake of the digital transformation. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are also placing new requirements on companies and their employees. Particular significance is being accorded to core competencies in shifting times such as these. From 2016 to 2020, Philip Heßen was Head of the Human Resources Germany Division at the Darmstadt-based science and technology company Merck. In his current capacity of Head of HR Strategy & Transformation, he is responsible for the group’s global personnel strategy. In this interview, he provides insights into how working at Merck has altered over the past few years. He explains which core competencies are helping to overcome these changes and how this is being reflected in the company’s present and future HR strategy.
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.
The significance of transversal competencies has been stressed in general educational policy concepts and in competence catalogues since the 2000s. Transversal competencies are understood to be competencies which are viewed as central to the ability of individuals in modern knowledge societies to master and help shape private, social and work situations. The various descriptions and definitions exhibit a large number of commonalities, as a comparison between three international competence catalogues demonstrates. However, the transversality of competencies needs to be critically scrutinised on the basis of theoretical considerations and empirical findings. This article discusses the conditions under which competencies can be broadly transferred and used transversally and debates whether context-independent competencies are a realistic notion.
Even prior to the coronavirus crisis, experiences of so-called disruptive innovations were leading the debates surrounding skills to address the question of how to strengthen the ability of the relevant company-based stakeholders to evaluate and structure new and surprising elements “freshly” and in a way which is detached from their own experiences and competencies. This article makes the case for a significant strengthening of this core skill.
Ostensibly, digitalisation seems to be very closely related to technology. In actual fact, however, the difficulty with digitalisation frequently relates to the circumstance that people find it hard to deal with change. For this reason, one of the aims of the “personalised training” offered by Roche is to encourage trainees to recognise their own learning requirements and to acquire skills autonomously.
The growing complexity of processes and the increasing delegation of responsibility at skilled worker level mean that greater attention is being paid to encouraging the key cross-cutting competencies of collaboration and problem solving. The research project DigiDIn-Kfz2 is developing a procedure to measure the collaborative motor vehicle diagnosis process in order to understand the approach adopted by trainees when tackling work problems together. The objective is to use this as a basis for the creation and evaluation of learning videos which will support learners with collective problem-solving tasks.
Knowledge of foreign languages is becoming increasingly important in working life in light of economic globalisation and international interconnectedness. This article uses the 2006, 2012 and 2018 BIBB/BAuA Employment Surveys to show the importance attached to knowledge of foreign languages in today’s world of work, to highlight how these requirements have developed over time, and to identify the occupations in which such knowledge plays a particularly major role.
New competencies being imparted during training are a fundamental requirement for the digitalised world of work in the chemical industry. But how can production staff who have worked in their roles for many years be trained to meet these new needs? A course entitled “Digitalisation and networked production” has been developed for this purpose. This article describes the concept, the initial experiences gained from the conducting of a pilot programme, and the findings which have subsequently emerged.
The digital shift has arrived at companies and is leading to changes in both work and learning processes. The additional CVTS5 survey used a telephone questionnaire and twelve company case studies to investigate which digital forms of learning are being deployed and the nature of the challenges created. This article presents the main results.
With its Graduate Programme, the BIBB is setting new standards in qualifying young scholars in vocational educational and training research. There are various possibilities of conducting doctoral research at this Federal Institute. The doctoral candidates research various current topics of vocational education and training; the Graduate Programme supports them through advice and consultation as well as a curriculum. This report outlines the goals, structure and current state of the BIBB Graduate Programme.
Germany chaired the Council of the European Union from July to December 2020. Following the formation of the new EU Commission, one of the major tasks pursued during this period was to review the strategic framework for European cooperation in vocational education and training (“Europe 2020”) and to define fresh priorities for the next ten years. This article makes an initial assessment of how well this succeeded given the conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Markus Bretschneider; Stephanie Conein; Monika Hackel
“The vocational education and training system is in crisis!” The reasons for such statements are multifarious in nature, but they regularly cause and have caused existing structures and VET regulatory work in particular to be called into question. A memorandum produced by DIETER EULER and ECKART SEVERING in the autumn of 2020 was one such example. Against this background, the present article provides insights into the regulatory work conducted by BIBB and shows how consensual cooperation serves as a vehicle for the successful development of occupations in the field of tension between continuity and change. The article also clarifies how regulatory work recognises developments at an early stage, integrates them into training occupations in a timely manner, and structures these occupations in a way that enables training to take place over the long term and across a broad basis.
The major tasks performed by management assistants in wholesale and foreign trade include the organisation and execution of commercial business at home and abroad. The present article looks at the modernisation of this particular training occupation, in which a greater emphasis is now being placed on management competencies. This is also reflected in a new occupational title. The chief focus is on the process-oriented organisation of wholesale and foreign trade transactions and on the increasing significance of e-business and project work. At the same time, the occupation has been further updated via the addition of future-oriented contents related to sustainability.
Pharmaceutical technicians control plants which produce tablets, ointments, powders and vaccines. The manufacture of vaccines is a complex and sensitive process which requires a particularly high degree of responsibility. This profile also presents trends which may expand the spectrum of tasks in future.
The Board’s third regular meeting of 2020 and an extraordinary session were both held under the chairmanship of Employer Representative Dr. Hans Jürgen Metternich. Consultations centred on issues such as the current situation on the 2020 training places market in light of the coronavirus pandemic, application of the modernised standard occupational profile positions, new designations for qualifications, the scopes of learning in advanced training regulations, and a new topic cluster relating to regulatory research which has now been included in BIBB’s research planning.