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Choosing an appropriate occupation is preceded by a complex orientation and decision-making process. Reflecting on young people’s occupational perceptions and the factors influencing their choices and facilitating practical experiences in the world of work are helpful in terms of strengthening their career choice competency and expanding the spectrum of occupations available to them. But how can this process at the transition from school to training be structured successfully? Which instruments and general conditions are proving conducive in this regard? This issue of BWP focuses on the effectiveness of vocational orientation approaches. Research findings and practical experiences are presented and scrutinised for this purpose.
Adolescence is characterised by more than merely completing stages of training that lead to a career choice decision and transition into employment; it is also marked by processes of transition to independence in other areas. The last three years have been heavily affected by the pandemic and its associated societal measures, and this has had a particular impact on young peoples’ opportunities to develop and shape their futures. The AID:A survey conducted by the German Youth Institute (DJI) and a qualitative study entitled “Future-related uncertainty of young people at the transition from school to work in times of coronavirus” both aim to illustrate the specific effects this situation is having on this already tumultuous phase of life.
This article looks at theories which may provide a basis for vocational orientation measures. It begins by elucidating rough target categories of vocational orientation whilst limiting these explanations to measures connected with the initial transition to VET or to a course of higher education study. The second stage of the article presents established career choice theories with regard to main core assumptions and perspectives and relates these to measures in exemplary fashion. It concludes by highlighting indications which should be considered in the design of measures in order to achieve the objectives.
In view of the shortage of skilled workers and a pronounced underrepresentation of women in IT professions in Germany, this study asks whether vocational role models can attract more young people, especially more young women, to IT professions. This study uses the example of “VET ambassadors” in Germany – a novel career orientation approach based on social identification and social approval – to study the impact of vocational role models on students’ career preferences. Initial results from the BIBB-TUDa-Career Orientation Study suggest that role models may reduce gender differences in students’ occupational knowledge, self-efficacy and career preferences for IT professions.
A whole series of various pedagogical provision is being made available over a longer period to help young people cope effectively with the transition from school to work. The full extent of the individual contributions made by this pedagogical provision, i.e. the learning opportunities it affords in school-based vocational orientation, is not yet fully known. This article presents a study which investigates the long-term effect of selected learning opportunities on relevant dimensions of successful occupational development. This shows that the informal conversations young people have with their parents and friends, for example, may be particularly conducive to occupational development, including in the long term. By way of contrast, default learning opportunities such as work experience placements or analyses of potential do not exhibit any long-term effects.
Anyone entering the Schweizer Allee Upper Secondary School in the Aplerbeck district of Dortmund cannot fail to notice the career choice road map laid out as a large wall newspaper in brightly contrasting colours. Organised by year groups, it contains all available higher education study and vocational orientation provision. It quickly becomes apparent that the pupils at this school are being offered more than the standard vocational orientation services delivered within the scope of the “No qualification without connectivity” programme of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Matthias Labs, who has been coordinating the school’s vocational orientation measures together with a colleague for 12 years, describes what is involved in maintaining such comprehensive provision and supporting pupils in finding a career pathway that is a good match for their interests and abilities.
Analyses of potential have formed a separate part of the Vocational Orientation Programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2010. Various ways of conducting an analysis of potential have developed over the course of time and in the wake of federal state-specific adjustments. The effectiveness of different approaches has now been investigated in an Intervention Study (ISPA) commissioned by the BMBF. This article presents the background to the study and its main results.
This article addresses findings and experiences collated since 2016 in a development and implementation project for the professionalisation of vocational orientation carried out at schools in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. A cross-cohort pedagogical scheme for school-based vocational orientation called the “Mission ICH” was designed for this purpose. This article highlights the levels on which robust implementation of the scheme requires school development processes and looks at the limitations with which the stakeholders involved are confronted. It concludes with a forecast of the further actions that will be needed.
When faced with the specific task of choosing a career, many young people realise for the first time that they are responsible for their own lives. This article proposes the concept that young people should assume responsibility for their own employment biography as a specific orientation service to precede career choice so that this challenge can theoretically be addressed. It formulates pedagogical action criteria for the development of responsibility for employment biographies and shows examples of how digital provision can be used in the interests of achieving a sustainable pedagogical relationship during the transition.
Parents are normally important sources of advice for their children at the transition from school to work. However, parents from a migrant or refugee background are frequently unfamiliar with the German education (and training) system. Attempts have been made in Hamburg to find ways of assisting them so that they can support their children. The key question posed was how to reach this target group in as accessible a way as possible. The response found by the Hamburg Youth Employment Agency was to join forces with the KAUSA Coordination Agency for Training and Migration in Hamburg to develop a series of digital parent evenings staged in multiple languages.
Most students who aspire to commence VET right after completion of lower secondary education do not succeed or else do not succeed straightaway in making the transition. The reasons for this include vocational orientation difficulties and unfeasible occupational goals. Practical placements are a key element available in school-based vocational orientation. This article shows that pupils who have undertaken a work experience placement and have positively embraced this involvement are more likely to achieve their planned transition to VET and require less transitional time.
As in many other areas of life, urban-rural disparities may also be observed in dual vocational education and training. Nevertheless, the trend over recent years indicates that the gap in the numbers of trainees between large towns and smaller villages is shrinking. But the picture is a complex one. Because of demographic developments, the training situation remains strained in small municipalities in particular.
Skilled worker shortages and worries as to where the next generation will come from in the traditional training occupations are increasingly growing, especially in rural regions. For this reason, SMEs in the country areas surrounding Paderborn have launched a new initiative. The Vocational Training and Continuing Training Network for the Private Sector (BANG), which has been in existence for over 20 years, will now be joined and reinforced by a cross-sector BANG StarterCenter in East Westphalia. The Vocational Orientation Centre (BOZ) has been successfully conducting training marketing together with companies and under a single umbrella since 2017.
BIBB is conducting a preliminary investigation into whether there is a need for a new qualification in the clothing and fashion industry in the form of a training occupation or advanced training programme. This process has included the identification of main task focuses and skills needs for employees. This article describes the initial results of the investigation and explains why a training occupation is being recommended.
The hospitality sector was badly shaken up during the coronavirus pandemic. Modernisation of the hotel occupations thus occurred at the right time. The training occupation of hotel management clerk addresses many of the changes that have taken place in the sector and now offers business management aspects and further main focuses in the areas of HR and commercial management.
The spring Board meeting was chaired by employer representative Nico Schönefeldt. One particular object of debate was the current training place situation in light of the annual consultations regarding the Federal Government’s Report on Vocational Education and Training.