BWP 4/2019

Values in vocational education and training

BWP 4/2019

In a society that is characterised by rapid acceleration and technological change, debate about values is becoming increasingly important. What role do values-based and socially responsible behaviour play in business and the world of work? And how can values be integrated into VET? These articles consider these questions conceptually and provide insights into practical education work. In this edition, you can find numerous proposals for combining values orientation and the teaching of skills in VET.


Vocational education and training in figures

Christian Ebner, Daniela Rohrbach-Schmidt

Marked contrasts in the prestige of dual vocational training occupations in Germany


In Germany, the vocational education and training (VET) system and the labour market are organised by occupation; a person’s occupation is a key factor in determining income and career prospects and structures the processes of job searching and recruitment. Society has very different perceptions of the prestige of different occupations. Occupational prestige plays a role for young people when choosing an occupation and when it comes to filling apprenticeship places. This article presents the initial findings from a current BIBB study regarding the occupational prestige of the 25 largest occupations in the dual VET system.

Special Focus

“In a democracy, education must also be related to the community”

Interview with Prof. Dr Gesine Schwan about fundamental values and their teaching

The banking crisis, Panama Papers, diesel scandal – there are plenty of reasons for us to agree on values and ethically responsible conduct in business and society. This need was once again expressed by the experts regularly consulted by BIBB as part of its topic radar regarding vocational education and training topics that are considered to be important. But which values do we mean here? And can values provide guidance for our actions in a fast-paced and tense time? In this interview, Gesine Schwan explains the significance of fundamental values for a democratic society and emphasises education’s task of promoting responsibility for the community.
Thomas Retzmann

The honest merchant in times of modern business and corporate ethics

Didactics for moral vocational education in business and administration

Does the time-honoured idea of the honest merchant still hold up in view of modern companies and markets? And do general education approaches to values-based and moral education fit with the specific objectives and conditions of vocational education? The article outlines a business-didactic concept that, by contrast, emphasises the relevance of modern business and corporate ethics. The informed economic and organisational citizen could serve social partners and business teachers as the modern role model for the continuation of the moral occupational education of merchants.
Karin Heinrichs, Christian Schadt, Alfred Weinberger

Moral decisions in professional contexts

Empirical findings and perspectives for vocational education and training

Research into moral decision-making patterns among adults demonstrates that people repeatedly violate the rules of moral behaviour, even in professional contexts, and feel no shame in doing so. These people are applying what is known as the “happy victimiser pattern”. The article presents research findings on this. Based on these findings, the didactic concept of “Values and Knowledge Education” has been proposed as a way to prepare (future) professionals for dealing with decisions on how to act in typical morally relevant situations in their occupational field.
Karl-Heinz Gerholz, Jörg Neubauer, Pankraz Männlein

Sensitising aspiring specialists to civil-society values

Service learning in vocational education and training

VET is tasked with promoting professional and societal competence in equal measure. Service learning – learning by involvement – is a didactic format for this that links curricular contents with social engagement. The article presents the didactic foundation of service learning and illustrates it based on an example from VET practice. It then goes on to demonstrate the effectiveness of this learning format for the learners’ development.
Mareike Kholin

Changing work values

Information for operational practice

Shared values within a society change in the course of cultural and economic developments. This also applies to work values in the employment context. What is important to a person when it comes to work is constantly changing. This article discusses the question of how work values are changing in the age of globalisation and digitalisation. It also provide hints for operational practice regarding how work values can be considered when addressing young talents and developing their careers.
Harald Hantke, Jan Pranger

Developing and communicating sustainability values

Teaching modules on corporate social responsibility in the transport and logistics field

In times of climate change, scarce resources, child labour and tax avoidance, sustainable business is becoming more and more important. The teaching modules on the topic of CSR in the transport and logistics industry designed in the BIBB pilot project Pro-DEENLA provide one answer to the question of how sustainability values can be developed and communicated in vocational education and training
Julia Kastrup, Marie Nölle-Krug

Values in teacher training

Building blocks for reflection and lesson design taking as an example inclusion and individual support

Since the 2014/15 school year, values have been included as overarching objectives in the skills-based teaching plans in North Rhine-Westphalia. Because this has been embedded in the curriculum, the requirements are changing in all educational programmes at the vocational school. The article shows how future teachers can deal with these values during their studies based on the example of the vocational subject of nutritional science and home economics at the University of Münster.

Vocational schools for democracy and diversity

Interview with MICHAEL HAMMERBACHER, head of the Association for Democracy and Diversity in Schools and Vocational Education

Vocational training institutions must work to counteract anti-democratic and anti-human rights attitudes and actions. In Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg the “Verein für Demokratie und Vielfalt in Schule und beruflicher Bildung” (DEVI e.V.)” [Association for Democracy and Diversity in Schools and Vocational Education] provides support with mastering the associated challenges. In an interview, Michael Hammerbacher explains how vocational schools and their teaching staff make use of the available support.

Other Themes

Tim Peeters, Didier Fouarge, Jessie Bakens

Informing youngsters and employers about labour market prospects

Conception and use of the Dutch Labour Market Information System (AIS)


Every two years the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) at Maastricht University produces medium-term labour market forecasts for 21 industry sectors and more than 100 occupational groups and education types. These forecasts, together with indicators for the current labour market situation, are gathered in an online database: the Labour Market Information System (AIS). In this article we describe our approach to labour market forecasting and present the content of the AIS. Although the project was initially started to help prospective students with their choice of study, the set of indicators has been broadened over time to include data and forecasts that are useful to employers, policy makers and labour market mediators. Because of space constraints, we focus on the relevance for prospective students and, to a lesser extent, employers.
Regina Dionisius, Amelie Illiger

Dual role of the transitional sector in the integration of refugees


With the beginning of increased immigration of refugees to Germany in 2015, the number of beginners with foreign nationality in the transitional sector also rose substantially This article addresses the question of what roles the transitional sector plays in the integration of refugees and which transitional measures are particularly important for immigrants.
Norbert Lachmayr, Judith Proinger

Transversal key competences in school-based VET in Austria

Current status and fields of development


EU strategy papers on vocational education and training stress the importance of acquiring key competences in vocational education and training (VET). At the same time, the papers emphasise that there is still a considerable need for action in this area in order to establish these competences in the education system and make them visible. The article describes the current state of development in school-based vocational education and training in Austria. The focus is on transversal (i.e. interdisciplinary) key competences.
Eva Hanau, Seung-Hwan Jeon, Han-Byul Lee

Approaches to dual VET in tertiary education in South Korea

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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.


Barbara Lorig, Andreas Stöhr

Office management training: initial evaluation results and unresolved questions

With the reorganisation of the vocational occupation of office management assistant, an Ordinance to Test the extended final examination has been introduced for the vocational occupation that currently has the highest number of trainees. But will this new examination structure be adopted in practice and where is there room for improvement? The article presents selected results of an online survey and outlines unresolved questions.
Adrian Roeske, Sabrina Frohn

Further training by app – mobile learning for professional drivers

Because they are on the move so much, professional drivers face many challenges when it comes to further training. These can be addressed with the help of digital technologies and mobile learning. The article presents a digital learning and communication environment for professional drivers, which was developed in the scope of the MeMoApp project.

The Board of BIBB

Thomas Vollmer

Report on meeting 2/2019 of the Board on 27 June 2019 in Bonn

The focus of discussions at the Board’s summer meeting was “language in examinations”. Other items on the agenda included the first update on the annual research programme 2019, results of the BIBB survey on the costs and benefits of vocational education and training for individuals, and new developments in BIBB’s open-access publications. The Board’s working groups also reported on the latest development regarding the topics “modernising the standard occupational profile items” and “permeability”. The meeting was presided by the chair, Dr Alexandra Bläsche, representative of the federal states.