BWP 1/2018

Continuing education

BWP 1/2018

Lifelong learning is considered to be a key prerequisite for keeping pace with the shift that is taking place in the economy and in society and for taking an active part in helping to shape change. Continuing education is continuing to grow in significance in the wake of technological innovations, alterations to employee structures and the shortage of skilled workers. What sorts of provision and forms of learning are required in order to overcome these challenges? The articles in this issue of BWP address both these and other issues.


Vocational education and training in figures

Jonathan Zorner

Is continuing education the way forward? Benefits of continuing education for employees in full-time and part-time work

Part-time employees are less likely to take part in company-based continuing education than their full-time counterparts. Part-time staff who wish to pursue occupationally-related continuing education are more prone to seizing the initiative themselves. But is such an approach worthwhile? What objectives do part-time employees pursue by taking part in occupationally-related continuing education as opposed to full-time workers, and can their expectations be fulfilled? A survey of continuing education participants conducted as part of the Federal Government’s Continuing Education Grant Programme provides information in this regard.

Special Focus

Bernd Käpplinger

Time for continuing education and continuing education that is in tune with the times

Impetuses for academic research and practice

Considerable significance is being accorded to continuing education in the light of ongoing societal and technological change. The increase in participation rates that has occurred over recent years has been very much welcomed. However, is it the case that more time is also being devoted to continuing eduction? This article uses a number of indicators to trace how learning times and formats have altered. The prospects offered by these developments and their possible consequences are explored against the background of the need for high-quality continuing education programmes.
Corinna Kleinert, Oliver Wölfel

Technological change and continuing education participation

Lifelong learning is seen as a necessity in today’s world of work. This view is based on the assumption that employees need to remain “up to speed” in order to be able to cope with the changes to work processes and tools that are being brought about by technological change. However, less is currently known about the extent to which continuing education is really being deployed in companies as a means of reacting to technological change and about which groups actually attend courses. In this article, we use data from the German Educational Panel Study (NEPS) adult cohort to investigate the influence exerted on participation in continuing education by individual, occupational, company structure and task-related factors.
Susanne Umbach, Hanna Böving, Erik Haberzeth

Competence shifts and human action qualities in the digitalisation process

Results from company case studies in the retail and logistics sectors and consequences for continuing education

The increasing digitalisation of work is nowadays deemed to be one of the main megatrends of socio-economic change processes. Against this background, this article adopts a subject-related approach to look at the correlation between changes to work brought about by digitalisation and employee competencies, and to this end also presents research results from an ongoing project. These show increasing competence requirements and a growing level of complexity across branches in the retail trade as well as revealing de-qualification tendencies in the logistics branch. The article concludes by reflecting upon how continuing education programmes are addressing these developments and also considers how greater emphasis can be placed on the significance of human action qualities, even under the conditions created by digitalised work.
Stefan Sauer, Judith Neumer, Jost Buschmeyer

How knowledge-intensive tasks can promote learning

New challenges and perspectives

The general assumption is that the level of action required from companies and management staff decreases as a work task becomes more highly qualified and more knowledge intensive. This assumption has been examined by the research project “Inductive learning via work” (LerndA). The results reveal the existence of general conditions which inhibit the acquisition of experience-related context knowledge, even in such a work situation. The article goes on to explain what inductive contextual knowledge is and looks at the barriers to learning that employees face in this regard. It concludes by outlining a sample design model for work that is conducive to learning.
Stefan Koscheck, David Samray

Strategies for the training of persons who have become distanced from education from a provider point of view

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Educational inequalities continue within the area of lifelong learning. In order to use continuing education as a vehicle for increasing the employment opportunities of educationally disadvantaged persons and to tap into the areas of potential they offer, the focus needs to be on overcoming various obstacles. The 2015 Continuing Training Monitor (wbmonitor) collected assessments from continuing education and training providers as to how participation by educationally disadvantaged persons may be raised. The present article uses these evaluations as a basis for providing impetuses for strategies which promise to deliver success in this regard.
Halit Öztürk

Migration means diversity – a plea for differentiated consideration of the continuing education behaviour exhibited by adults from a migrant background

The necessity and high significance of training and continuing education are now beyond dispute. They are frequently viewed as a key to societal participation and equality of opportunity, particularly with regard to the example of migration. The data situation regarding adults from a migrant background and the continuing education behaviour of such persons has greatly improved, even if research gaps still persist with regard to aspects such as analyses of continuing education participation that take account of various and diverse life circumstances and investigations of different segments of continuing education. After providing a brief insight into the levels of diversity exhibited by persons from a migrant background, this article goes on to look at this group’s participation in continuing education.
Stefan Berwing

Continuing education at companies owned by migrants

This article presents the status of research and findings on continuing education at migrant-owned firms on the basis of a company survey from 2013. Differences in participation in continuing education are shown in accordance with company size categories, economic branches and level of education of company owners. The results give rise to the supposition that both influences related to company structure and further impacts brought about by migration must be taken into account as causes for the low level of continuing education participation at firms run by migrants. Possible approaches for further investigation are proposed.
Matthias Rohs, Gesa Heinbach, Arash Tolou Ghanian Sabour

Creating continuing education that is aligned towards needs at institutes of higher education

The »Higher Education Regional Monitor« supports the identification of regional requirements

Participation in continuing education exhibits considerable regional differences. This strongly suggests that there are variances in continuing education needs at a regional level. A knowledge of the continuing education requirements within a particular region offers areas of potential for institutes of higher education to deliver tailored provision at a local level and thus aid regional development. However, how can continuing education provision at institutes of higher education be harmonised in a targeted way so as to meet the requirements and interests of the population and the need for a supply of skilled workers? Such an approach for the Western Palatinate region has been designed within the scope of the EB project. This article describes the background to and methodological implementation of the project. It also provides an example of how the Regional Monitor can be used to identify needs for continuing education provision in the form of the “Digital Management” programme being offered at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.

Other Themes

Angela Fogolin

Structural data on distance learning/distance education – new BIBB statistics

Following a fundamental review of statistics on distance learning, a process which also led to a change of name, the annual collection of “Structural data on distance learning/distance education” has now become a permanent task at BIBB. This article looks at the review within the context of current developments, outlines the changes made to the methodological approach, and highlights the areas of potential associated with the statistics.
Brigitte Bosche, Marlis Schneider, Anne Strauch

Teaching competences in adult education and continuing education

Assessment procedures and possibilities for using the PortfolioPlus instrument to provide recognition

Teachers make an essential contribution to the success of continuing education programmes. However, which specific pedagogical skills do they need in the field of adult education in order to be able to offer high-quality provision that is aligned to the needs of the particular target groups? And how can their existing competencies be made visible and accorded recognition? As part of the GRETA project, a competence model has been developed to serve as a foundation for the assessment of competencies which may also prospectively lead to recognition. This article presents the development and implementation of the portfolio created for this purpose.


Marlies Dorsch-Schweizer

A new concept for advanced training in the construction sector

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The advanced training occupation of “certified constructor” from 1994 has become obsolete in terms of its contents and is accorded little significance in company practice today. A preliminary investigation carried out by BIBB in the field of activity of construction has produced a recommendation that the relevant advanced training regulations should be updated. However, there is also a view that such a process should be allied with additional conceptual considerations aimed at increasing the attractiveness of this particular advanced training occupation. An initial concept has been drawn up for this purpose, the basic principles of which are outlined in the present article.

The Board of BIBB

Thomas Vollmer

Report on the Board Meeting 3/2017 held in Bonn on 13 December 2017

The final BIBB Board Meeting of 2017 was chaired by employer representative Dr. Hans-Jürgen Metternich. The main focuses of the agenda were the BIBB “Strategy 2025”, the current situation on the training places market, the integration of refugees, and the reform of the Nursing Act. The 2018 Annual Research Programme was officially adopted, and the Board’s “Permeability” Working Group was formally commissioned to take up its work.