BWP 3/2018

Trainers in VET

BWP 3/2018

The quality of training depends on the competence of training staff. This issue of the BWP dedicates a key subject to them. How has the day-to-day of training changed in the era of inclusion and Industry 4.0? What new challenges are emerging and with which self-concepts are trainers and teachings approaching their work? And are they prepared to face these technological and pedagogical challenges? The contributions in this issue attempt to provide answers to these questions.


Future of work – future of vocational education and training

Snapshots of the podium participants at the BIBB congress

Digitalisation is changing what affords people stability, security and a future – in other words training, occupation and work. However, it is not just the world of work which is undergoing rapid change; vocational learning must also keep pace with digital innovations. New occupations are emerging and existing job descriptions must be updated and adapted for the digital age. What does all this mean in terms of qualifications for specialist staff? High-ranking representatives from policy-making, business and academia will discuss this at our 2018 BIBB Congress on 7 June in Berlin. The following snapshots of the podium participants provide a foretaste of what is to be an exciting discussion.

Vocational education and training in figures

Stephanie Matthes, Joachim Gerd Ulrich

Will greater mobility solve the matching problems in the training market?

Are young people not mobile enough? This is the question often posed in light of the increasing matching problems in the training market. But will greater mobility solve the problem? According to BIBB analyses, the mobility of young people is already contributing to more balanced regional training markets today. However, the limits of this positive effect are also apparent.

Special Focus

Nadia Lamamra, Barbara Duc, Carmen Baumeler

Vocational trainers in Switzerland – the invisible socialisation agents

Although companies have a key role to play in the dual system of vocational education training in Switzerland, they rarely tend to be the subject of research. This applies in particular to those who have a significant influence on the training model: the company-based vocational trainers. A study at the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training has therefore taken this group on which very little research has been done to date, examined their characteristics and everyday working life, and identified their key role in vocational socialisation.

“The approach involves nurturing an individual's resources in the best possible way”

Interview with Magdalena Fuchs Genzoli, training coordinator in the Sunneziel Meggen nursing home and centre for the elderly

The Sunneziel Meggen nursing home and centre for the elderly in the Swiss Canton of Lucerne offers older people a range of living and care options. The institution provides training in nine basic professions and training occupations to train the skilled workers who are employed there. In addition to this, students receive professional instruction during their placement phases. Magdalena Fuchs has been training coordinator since 2011 and is therefore not only responsible for the initial and continuing vocational education and training of the next generation of skilled workers but also for the qualification and support of the training personnel.
Andreas Diettrich, Stefan Harm

Occupational-pedagogic support and quality development

The work and demands placed on company-based training personnel

Reference is repeatedly made in specialist literature to the changed work requirements of company-based training personnel. What can be inferred from this are demands for professionalisation and qualifications which can also contribute to developing the quality of company-based training. This article analyses the tasks and work activities relating to occupational-pedagogic demands as well as the changes to these demands as perceived by the training personnel. It becomes clear that the tendency is towards a growth in the gap between the demands and the occupational-pedagogic qualifications and competencies of this group of people.
Christina Jacober

Qualification and career opportunities for vocational trainers

The AdA system of the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning.

The modular “Training the Trainers” (AdA) system was developed at the end of the 1990s by the Swiss Federation for Adult Learning (SVEB) and has been expanded continually since then. SVEB certificates have now become established as the leading qualification in adult education. Two years ago, an entry module for company-based training personnel was added to the AdA system with the introduction of the practical trainer certificate. The article presents the AdA system including career options at three levels and highlights particular features of its design. Options for further development are then outlined.
Andreas Breiter, Falk Howe, Michael Härtel

Media and IT competence of company-based training personnel

Allowing digital media to take effect in vocational education and training requires a targeted and considered selection of media formats based on media-pedagogical concepts. But just how competent are company-based training personnel when selecting and using digital media? As part of a BIBB research project, a “media-pedagogical competence” model has been developed which forms the basis of an online survey of company-based training personnel. The results from this survey involving the self-assessment of media and IT competence are presented in the article, concluding with considerations regarding the need for continuing VET in the context of a company-based digitalisation strategy.
Stephan Dietrich

Digital transformation and support requirements from the perspective of company-based training personnel

Lessons learned from the BMBF programme JOBSTARTER plus


The aim of JOBSTARTER plus projects concerning “Initial and continuing VET in economy 4.0” is to support small and medium-sized enterprises in adapting their training and continuing education to the challenges of advancing digitalisation. At the start of their work, the projects asked companies about the specific support requirements. This article puts together the assessments resulting from this. They provide an insight into the perspectives of training personnel, and the support required.

“Technically the very best and open to new challenges”

Interview with Hans-Werner Ruhkopf, Head of Initial and Continuing Vocational Education and Training, MAN Academy Salzgitter

At MAN Truck & Bus in the Salzgitter plant, training is provided for around 150 trainees in seven different occupations. Technical changes, digitalisation, a complex training structure and the variety of trainees are all key issues with which training personnel are dealing. When faced with these challenges, how can the skilled workers involved in providing training ensure that the training is good quality?
Franziska Kupfer, Thomas Neuhaus

Trainer qualification using info films in the foraus.de web portal

Against the backdrop of the increasing digitalisation of the world of work, company-based training personnel are continually confronted by new challenges. In this context, digital media offers a potential means of fast communication of information and strategies for action. Video films are also increasingly being used for this. Taking the trainer portal foraus.de as an example, the article addresses the increasing dissemination and potential of info films for the qualification of training personnel.
Sabrina Schuster

Campaigning for training – the trainer portal of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the National Agency for Continuing VET in the Skilled Crafts

Continuing education and training provision for training personnel

Shortage of skilled workers and the digital transformation present new challenges to company-based training. The project “Campaigning for training” is helping trainers to help themselves. It uses knowledge modules, practical examples and a blended learning qualification to provide trainers with what they need to adapt to an increasingly heterogeneous group of young people. The article specifies the reasons which led to the development of the project and highlights its potential.

“As trainers we must motivate young people”

Interview with Björn Sach, trainer in inter-company instruction at the Soest training centre

The Soest training centre is one of three locations of the Dortmund Chamber of Crafts and Trades engaged in inter-company trainee instruction in the automotive occupations. Together with eleven training colleagues, Björn Sach qualifies trainees from the first to the fourth training year in training instruction courses. In the course of this, diverse changes in terms of technology as well as occupational pedagogy must be taken into account in the design of the learning processes.
Meta Cehak-Behrmann

Language support in vocational education and training

The project “Language support integrated in work and training in Hesse”

Companies providing training as well as vocational schools are increasingly facing the task of having to support language learning processes of trainees. This is changing the work of vocational training personnel. In order to address the resulting qualification requirement, the Hesse Ministerium für Soziales und Integration [Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration] is using the “Language support integrated in work and training” project to initiate the implementation across the region of in-depth advanced vocational education and training provision in the area of occupational pedagogy for vocational training personnel. The article presents the objectives, the concept and initial experiences.
Monika Bethscheider, Karin Wullenweber

Language, culture and communication in training

Development and trialling of further training provision for company-based trainers

When working with refugees and trainees from a migration background, an examination of language, cultural and psychological aspects involved in day-to-day interaction is useful for responding to difficult situations appropriately. As part of a BIBB project funded by the Bundesminsterium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) [Federal Ministry of Education and Research], the Office for Transitions to Training and Work (überaus) at the BIBB is currently developing a qualification concept for company-based trainers in collaboration with the Wiesbaden-based training provider Fresko which extends beyond mere language awareness and combines the acquisition of specialist knowledge with the shared reflection on personal experiences and evaluations. The article presents the background, objectives and conceptual foundations.
Mike Metzger

Supporting and monitoring learning processes

Individual initial and continuing vocational education and training advisers in the dm consortium

Independent learning and people’s general learning ability are key competitive factors in the world of work. In order to support all employees in their individual learning process, dm-drogerie markt has relied on the use of so-called initial and continuing VET advisers for more than 20 years. The roles and functions are presented in the article.

Other Themes

Gudrun Schönfeld, Marion Thiele

Company-based continuing training in Europe: Germany ranked in the upper mid-range


The participation of adults in lifelong learning is right at the top of the European Union’s political agenda and is embedded for example in the joint working programme “Education and Training” (ET 2020). As the largest continuing education sector company-based continuing training plays a key role in achieving the ET 2020 objectives. Based on data from the Adult Education Survey (AES) 2016, the article provides information on participation rates of gainfully employed people in company-based continuing training in Europe.
Sirikit Krone

Career entry and plans following a dual course of study

(Potential) students associate the completion of a dual course of study with guaranteed entry into a profession and good career opportunities. But what is the transition into work actually like? The article considers the start to a professional career and the future plans of this group of bachelor students on the basis of a research project conducted by the Institut für Arbeit und Qualifikation (IAQ) [Institute for Work, Skills and Training]. The findings support both school leavers in their choice of degree and career as well as companies and universities in designing and developing dual courses of study.


Manfred Zimmermann, Gunther Spillner

Management assistants for e-commerce – a new training occupation from 1 August 2018


With the boom in the online trading of goods and services, the significance and scope of e-commerce is growing across all industries. New areas of activity and new organisational and business models are emerging. To meet the growing need for skilled workers in e-commerce a new commercial occupation has been created. The article highlights the background to the revision of training regulations and describes the occupational profile.

The Board of BIBB

Thomas Vollmer

Report on the Board Meeting 1/2018 held in Bonn on 15 March 2018

The board meeting focused in particular on the debate around the current training position situation which was held when the Federal Government’s 2018 Vocational Training Report was discussed. Further priorities included the 2025 BIBB Strategy and the new organisational structure of the BIBB, the training of adults with a focus on qualifications, and the issue of permeability between vocational and university-level education. The meeting was led by Chairperson Elke Hannack, employee representative.