Vocational Training in Research and Practice

Vocational Training in Research and Practice

The journal reports on research findings and practical experience with issues from vocational education and training, thus fostering an exchange between education research, day-to-day education practice and education policy.

Current issue

Training the trainer (BWP 4/2022)

BWP 4/2022

Trainers and vocational school teachers support young people entering employment. They make a valuable contribution to the training and socialisation of future’s skilled workers and ensure high-quality vocational education and training. This issue of BWP looks at the acquisition and training of VET. The main focuses: new requirements created by digitalisation, sustainability and the growing heterogeneity of learners, and how training staff themselves assess their daily challenges. Objects of investigation include training needs from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective, suitable training provision and formats, and the general conditions necessary for future-oriented training.


Special Focus

Anke Bahl, Verena Schneider

In-company trainers in IVET in figures

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In-company trainers play a key role in training apprentices at the workplace. Despite the group’s system relevance for initial vocational education and training (IVET) in the German dual system, there are major gaps in the statistics. This article examines existing data and highlights possible ways to improve the data basis.
Marco Blank, Manuel Nicklich, Sabine Pfeiffer

Rising requirements and continuing training from the perspective of company-based training staff

Company-based training staff face increasing challenges, some of them new. Trainers often work under difficult conditions, and they face additional increasing pressure from digitalisation, reorganisation of teaching and learning settings, and individualisation. A current study shows which qualifications resources are available to training staff for overcoming these challenges.
Myriam Baum, Felix Lukowski

Company digitalisation and continuing training of training staff

Company-based training staff play a crucial role in imparting skills, knowledge and competencies. Digital skills are therefore vital in terms of shaping technological change. But are training staff up to speed? This article uses data from the BIBB Training Panel to investigate whether there is a correlation between a company’s level of digitalisation and participation by full-time training staff in continuing training on recent digitalisation topics.
Christian Hofmeister, Paula Risius, Dirk Werner

Training trainers for the digital shift

Development of innovative training concepts in the Q 4.0 NETWORK

One of a trainer’s many tasks is to help young skilled workers cope with the digital shift. The training they receive helps them do this. The Q 4.0 NETWORK is a BMBF-funded project implemented by the German Institute for Business Research in close collaboration with 13 education and training institutes from within trade and industry and two further VET providers. It is developing appropriate provision to deal with this very requirement. This article shows how training needs are identified within the Q 4.0 NETWORK and how a design-thinking process is then used to translate these into quality-assured continuing training provision. It concludes by considering the reception these continuing training programmes have enjoyed thus far and by highlighting future adjustments that may be needed.
Kathrin Petzold-Rudolph, Lisa Stobbe, Dina Kuhlee

Training vocational school teachers via cooperation agreements between institutes of higher education

Fostering social integration into higher education and a commitment to studying

Given the shortage of teachers in the VET sector’s industrial and technical specialisms, focus needs to be on encouraging the training of relevant staff. This article presents a cooperative higher education programme developed by universities and universities of applied sciences and aimed at those training to teach engineering at vocational schools. It examines how this cooperative provision can support the commitment and social integration of students with a blended learning concept.
Caroline Bonnes, Julia Binkert, Michael Goller

Competencies of company-based training staff

A literature-based systematisation

Understanding the competencies required for a professional job performance forms the starting point for any endeavours towards professionalisation. This article concentrates on the literature-based identification of competencies of company-based training staff. It then allocates these competencies to the four competence areas: professional, methodological, social and autonomy. The results serve as a basis for further research and may also be used in practice as a guide for structuring training measures.
Karin Reiber, Elena Tsarouha, Marius Rebmann

Extended task profiles for company-based training staff in the new nursing training programmes

Implications for competence profiles and skills requirements

Implementation of the Nursing Professions Act has switched the emphasis towards more generalist training. This entails considerable changes as far as the practical side of training is concerned. Structures and processes are aligned towards considering higher requirements within the context of practical deployments with differing focuses. Two essential developments are currently taking place in practical training. Practice guidance now takes the form of a full professional problem-solving process, and both positions and functions in practical training are becoming more differentiated. This is demonstrated by qualitative interviews conducted with company-based training staff.
Michael Härtel

“We want to help training staff achieve greater visibility and recognition”

An interview with Michael Härtel on support and training for trainers

There is much in the media on how young skilled workers are urgently being sought in virtually every sector of trade and industry. However, we read and hear very little about the skilled workers at the companies providing training. It is no surprise then that company-based training staff frequently complain about a lack of recognition and esteem. This interview covers current challenges, provision to support training staff, and the question of how the training remit has changed over the years.
Robert Schäfer

MIKA – continuing training provision to promote the media-pedagogical competencies of company-based training staff

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The digital transformation is both impacting everyday training and work at companies and presenting trainers with new challenges. The continuing training concept “Media and IT competency for training staff (MIKA)” supports trainers with deploying digital technologies in teaching and learning processes and helps them develop personal competencies via guided practically related exercises in face-to-face sessions, webinars and phases of self-directed learning.
Jana Förster-Kuschel

Dealing with heterogeneity – should it be included in textbooks for AEVO examination preparation?

Dealing with different trainees is part of the everyday routine of many trainers. Vocational teaching competencies are the principal requirement in this regard. But how are these competencies specifically imparted, and where do trainers get ideas on how to cope with heterogeneity? Textbooks to prepare for the AEVO examination may be one opportunity. This article highlights the way in which heterogeneity is addressed in such textbooks and examines their suggestions for handling heterogeneous groups of trainees.
Sabine Conrad, Astrid Dolle, Anke Hallwaß

Strengthening digital competencies

Training provision for teaching staff at training centres in the craft trades sector

Digitalisation in the world of work and in everyday teaching is opening up opportunities in terms of the way teaching structure. There are, however, associated challenges for the teaching staff. The ProNet Handwerk InnoVET project used a survey of needs to develop training provision for teaching staff in company-based and extra-company initial and continuing VET This article presents the conceptual considerations behind the project and initial experiences with its implementation.

From research and practice

Katharina Thies, Birgit Schneider, Kirsten Meyer

Vocational education and training from learners’ perspective – bridge days as an innovative learning format

Bridge days are an innovative learning format which places the main focus on trainees. They undertake a five-day design sprint to identify challenges in the training system and use this as a basis to develop innovative possible solutions for future VET. This format was created and piloted as part of the InnoVET project OWL Training Bridges.
Gesa Münchhausen, Elisabeth Reichart

Making digitalisation visible in continuing vocational education and training

Seeking suitable indicators for continuing training reporting

Continuing VET has undergone a considerable shift over the past few years as a result of digitalisation processes in the world of work and in society. Further development is expected in the future. In order to be able to govern this area of education and training in an evidence-based way, policymakers and public administration are reliant on current information and reliable indicators. One of the tasks tackled in the “Integrated continuing training reporting” project (iWBBe) has been to develop starting points that will enable the firm establishment of digitalisation as a cross-sectional topic in education and training reporting.


Stephanie Blankart, Markus Bretschneider, Inga Schad-Dankwart

The age of training regulations as an indicator for the need for modernisation of recognised training occupations?

Work report from a BIBB research project

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Recognised training occupations act as a guarantee that qualified skilled workers will develop a professional capacity and in consequence employability skills in training. Occupational qualifications are subject to constant change and need to be adjusted to altered circumstances. But which factors trigger the update of training regulations? And what role is played by aspects such as the age of the regulations in question? This article uses the initial results from an ongoing BIBB research project to show which possible factors may be considered with regard to designing indicators for systematic monitoring of the modernisation requirements of initial and advanced training occupations.

Profile of an occupation – organ builder

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No two organs are the same since each one is individually made for the architectural space in which it is intended to ring out. Organ builders are specialists in a trade which builds on centuries of experience and combines traditional craft techniques with the latest technologies. Organ builder is clearly one of the musical instrument-making training occupations which attracts considerable interest. In a survey conducted by our BWP newsletter, a clear majority said they wished to learn more about this occupation.