BWP 1/2020

Continuing vocational education and training

BWP 1/2020

If individuals and companies are to help shape the changes that are taking place in work and employment and keep up with events, the challenges they face in terms of investing in competence development are greater than ever. The National Continuing Training Strategy has even gone so far as to proclaim a new continuing training culture. What general conditions are individuals and companies currently experiencing? And how does continuing training need to be organised in future in order to be able to offer both appropriate provision and, above all, the right overall framework?



“We need a more imaginative dialogue between research, policy making and practice”

Interview with Professor Josef Schrader on the National Continuing Training Strategy

Continuing training is considered to offer a large degree of potential with regard to getting people up to speed for the digital shift. But which general conditions are conducive in terms of achieving this? In June 2019, a cross-departmental alliance of the Federal Government and federal states joined forces with employer and employee organisations to set out its ideas in the National Continuing Training Strategy. The aims are to pool the continuing training programmes of the Federal Government and federal states, to align these in a requirements-oriented way and to establish a new continuing training culture. With the help of Professor Josef Schrader, a Board Member and the Research Director of the Deutsches Institut für Erwachsenenbildung [German Institute for Adult Education] in Bonn, we take a look at the continuing training landscape and ask what kind of impetuses the strategy paper may generate and where there is a further need for action and research.
Michael Cordes

Funding for continuing vocational training in Germany – between funding structure and systematisation

Diverse, but complex and lacking in transparency, are the main attributes that can be applied when describing continuing training funding in Germany. The extent to which the highly confusing number of different instruments, programmes and measures is underlaid by cross-cutting strategic alignments frequently remains unclear. This article uses considerations regarding the funding structure and possible gaps in funding as a basis for illustrating starting points for improved systematisation.
Bernd Käpplinger

Continuing training guidance – a mantra or a manifest need?

Continuing training guidance has for many years been regularly ascribed a large and often growing significance with regard to fostering participation. Is there any empirical support for such a claim beyond everyday observations and platitudes, and if so how far does this extend? This article analyses current data and time series from the Adult Education Survey (AES), which are then subjected to a perspective interpretation. A large and manifest requirement for guidance is revealed. Further research questions are also stated.
Frauke Bilger, Alexandra Strauß

A change of trend in continuing training behaviour in East-West comparative terms?

Results from the current Adult Education Survey

Information on the continuing training behaviour of adults in Germany has been available since the “Continuing Training Behaviour” study of 1979. This enables changes in continuing training participation to be tracked over a period of four decades. The latest survey, the 2018 Adult Education Survey (AES) shows that the trend towards assimilation of continuing training behaviour in East and West Germany has been reversed for the first time. Whereas the rate has risen significantly in the West, levels in the East are stagnating. The article explores possible explanations.
Marco Seegers

Substitution risk and continuing training behaviour in the digital shift

What are the gender-specific differences?

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Professional knowledge is ageing ever more quickly in the course of the digital shift, and continuing vocational training measures are becoming increasingly significant in terms of preparing the labour force for new and/or altered task requirements. The extent to which occupations typically exercised by men are affected differently to occupations in which women are in the majority remains unclear at present. This article conducts an investigation at the level of occupational groups in order to discover whether there is any evidence of a gender-specific risk of being affected by digital substitution processes and whether the previous continuing training behaviour displayed by the labour force has been adapted to digital structural change.
Myriam Baum, Felix Lukowski

Company-based continuing training for employees performing unskilled tasks in the wake of digitalisation

Employees carrying out unskilled tasks often tend to miss out on continuing training. And yet this is the very group which could benefit from it. This article uses data from the BIBB Training Panel to investigate which factors favour company funding of continuing training for this category of employees.
Stefan Baron

The Training Opportunities Act – the more open, the better

This article uses a retrospective consideration of recourse to WeGebAU funding by the metal and electrical industries in Baden-Württemberg to show that the Qualifizierungschancengesetz [Training Opportunities Act] needs to be structured in as open a way as possible in order to allow large numbers of employees to benefit from the support available. Although companies wish adaptations to be made, it is also incumbent on them to strengthen internal company-based continuing training.
Stefan Koscheck

Training Opportunities Act – are the right prerequisites in place on the provider side?

The Qualifizierungschancengesetz [Training Opportunities Act] has expanded continuing training funding for employees. In order to make successful use of the new possibilities, structural adjustments on the part of continuing training providers to meet the new facts and circumstances would appear to be necessary. This article analyses the current status in this regard and discusses prospects and challenges for various provider segments with reference to the Continuing Training Monitor Climate Index.
Julia Flasdick

Upgrading training as an attractive prospect for those with experience of higher education

This article investigates the motives and rewards of persons with experience of higher education who have completed a chamber of commerce and industry upgrading training programme to achieve qualifications such as industrial supervisor, business administrator or accountant. The Industrie- und Handelskammern [chambers of commerce and industry] conduct over 60,000 examinations per year in this sector alone. They subsequently carry out regular surveys of persons who have completed such qualifications. This article outlines the main results of the studies and illustrates areas of target group-specific potential, including in comparison to persons who have acquired vocational qualifications.

From research and practice

Elisabeth Maué, Stephan Schumann

Career preferences of young and adult refugees

The vocational education and training system makes a major contribution to the integration of young people and young adults from a migrant background. Most federal states have established specific preparatory courses focusing on language acquisition and vocational orientation for this target group. The aim of such training programmes is for learners to remain within the educational system and ideally to enter training. The article uses the Freiburg Government District as an example to investigate the extent to which this correlates with the occupational preferences of young refugees.
Jana Förster-Kuschel, Bärbel Fürstenau

What feelings do company-based trainers have towards dealing with the heterogeneity of learners?

Although emotions play an important part within the scope of interaction between trainers and trainees, they are accorded very little consideration in practice and in academic research. This article highlights the feelings which trainers experience when dealing with trainees in increasingly heterogeneous learning groups.
Sven Böttcher

Digital building information models in inter-company training

Results from the nationwide BAU’S MIT BIM pilot project

Between October 2016 and June 2019, the construction industry training provider Bau Bildung Sachsen e. V. implemented a pilot project entitled “Linking staged training in the construction sector with the Building Information Modelling method”. The main element of the programme is a digital model settlement with objects to support the perception and visualisation of course tasks. This article provides information on the latest status of the project and on the challenges of introducing digital building models as a method in inter-company training.


Verena Schneider, Henrik Schwarz

Revision of the IT continuing training system – options at different levels

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The IT continuing training system (IT-WBS) was established in 2002. Despite the innovative approaches adopted, demand in practice remains muted. This article discusses possible starting points for a revision of the system against the background of the modernised IT training occupations and in light of the three-stage advanced training model introduced in the new Berufsbildungsgesetz [Vocational Training Act].


Profile of an occupation – Packaging materials technologist

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As e-commerce continues to flourish, more and more types of packaging are needed for a countless assortment of products ranging from chocolates to fridges. In 2018, the German folding box industry alone reported a production volume of 870,971 tonnes. But who is responsible for manufacturing all these different packaging materials, for ensuring that each product has the right packaging to protect it and for doing all of this in a way which conserves resources?

The Board of BIBB

Thomas Vollmer

Report on the 3/2019 Board Meeting on 11 December 2019 in Bonn

The last Board Meeting of 2019 took place under the chairmanship of Dr. Alexandra Bläsche, representative of the federal states. Main content focuses included the current situation on the training market in 2019, the issue of integration of refugees within the scope of dual vocational education and training and the impacts of the reform of the Berufsbildungsgesetz [Vocational Training Act] on recommendations of the Board.