BWP 6/2018

Dialogue between research, policy making and practice

BWP 6/2018

Stakeholders from academic research, policy making and practice all have an equal role to play in the shaping of vocational education and training. Yet how can dialogue produce sustainable concepts and solutions given the differing logical approaches and interests involved? And which fields of conflict need to be overcome or used as areas of potential? This issue of BWP addresses these questions and illustrates points of access on the basis of selected areas of activity and research.


Vocational education and training in figures

Barbara Schürger, Gudrun Schönfeld, Normann Müller

Company-based continuing training – the need for public action from the companies’ perspective

Ongoing digitalisation is altering work processes, bringing about shifts in skills requirements and facilitating new forms of learning. Both vocational education and training and company-based continuing training are affected by this change. The article investigates whether and how policy makers can support companies in their commitment to training in light of this dynamic development.

Special Focus

Researching and shaping migration and integration

Statements from research, policy making and practice on opportunities and challenges

The topics of migration and integration are determining societal discourse and leading to polarisations with regard to the issue of how co-existence within society can be structured. Equal opportunities in education and employment are important in terms of integrating people of different origins into society. All stakeholders in vocational education and training need to be involved in fostering this aim. How can networking on policy objectives, academic research findings and experiences gained from practice contribute towards overcoming these societal challenges? The statements from ANNETTE WIDMANN-MAUZ, JAN SCHNEIDER and MARION WARTUMJAN illustrate perspectives and mutual expectations.
Michael Heinlein, Norbert Huchler, Tobias Ritter

Supporting and shaping digital change via participative research

Participative research is a route via which the digital shift in work and employment can be analysed and shaped. Participation in this context means that the knowledge and interests of persons and groups affected by a specific digitalisation measure are involved in the research and structural process. Such an approach enables the digital world of work to be shaped in a sustainable way. But more than this, it also generates knowledge which enables both employees and decision makers to counter the challenges of digitalisation in an appropriate way. This article sets out the fundamental assumptions and functions of this research approach and exemplifies these on the basis of structural fields.
Kordula Schneider, Heidi Kuckeland, Myrofora Hatziliadis

Teachers and school directors conduct research into the occupational field of professional nursing

Experiences and selected results from the KraniCH research project

In order to develop an internal school curriculum for the generalist nursing training that will enter into force from 2020 onwards, school directors and teachers need to gain an insight into the occupational field of professional nursing. The KraniCH research project (the title being a German acronym for “Hanover competence-oriented curriculum offering connectivity”) takes professional practice as its starting point and actively involves the school-based stakeholders as co-researchers. This article describes and explains the project design, reports and reflects upon the experiences of the co-researchers, and outlines the initial results to emerge from the occupational field analysis.
Margit Ebbinghaus

Dual vocational education and training topic radar – impetuses for specialist dialogue

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Dual VET is a field in which responses to the challenges created by technological, economic and societal developments need to be identified on an ongoing basis. Dialogue between the areas of VET policy, research and practice forms an important foundation for this process. The aim of the dual VET topic radar is to support this dialogue by mapping the perspectives towards VET adopted by various stakeholders and making these accessible for the specialist debate. This article describes the development of this instrument, sets out sample results from the most recent survey wave and concludes by outlining prospects for the advancement of the topic radar.
Evelyn Tsandev, Belinda Aeschlimann, Irene Kriesi

Vocational qualifications for adults in an area of conflict between educational policy and trade and industry in Switzerland

Vocational education and training for adults has been declared to be a major educational policy focus in Switzerland over recent years. The Federal Government sees the second-chance training of adults who have failed to obtain a qualification subsequent to completion of compulsory education as providing considerable potential in terms of covering the requirement for skilled workers. Trade and industry stakeholders have a major part to play in this process despite having made very little educational provision and very few training places available to adults thus far. This article highlights the various perspectives of policy makers and of trade and industry, and sheds light on the role being played by research in the development of new solution pathways.
Stefanie Bosshard

Vocational Education and Training 2030

Integration of stakeholders into the Swiss strategy development process

The “Vocational Education and Training 2030” Mission Statement sets out the guiding principles for the future development of VET in Switzerland. It was drawn up during the period from 2016 to 2018 by the network partners of Swiss VET. The process was shaped in as participative a way as possible in order to take account of the diversity of VET stakeholders. This article describes how the voices and expertise of the different stakeholders were integrated.
Ute Hippach-Schneider

Tertiary education of the future – a comparison between Germany and Switzerland

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Both the German Wissenschaftsrat [Council of Science and Humanities] and the Swiss Science Council have formulated recommendations on the future shaping of the relationship between vocational and academic or tertiary education. Two very different educational policy concepts and strategies clearly emerge, and these are compared in this article.
Verónica Fernández Caruncho, Barbara Hemkes, Christian Melzig

Dialogue between science, policy and practice for the implementation of a policy principle

Experiences from pilot projects conducted in the key development area of “Vocational education and training for sustainable development 2015-2019”

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How can an (educational) policy principle be integrated into company-based training via collaboration between science, practice and policy making? And how can interaction between the various stakeholders be shaped? On the basis of experiences gained from pilot projects conducted in the key development area of “Vocational education and training for sustainable development 2015-2019”, constellations of stakeholders and cooperation are traced along the route from the idea of educational innovation all the way to transfer into VET practice.
Peter Jablonka, Philipp Ulmer

Training for trainers within an area of conflict between research, policy making and practice

Conclusions that have emerged from the evaluation of the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of the AEVO for the current discourse

The evaluation of the suspension of the AEVO [Ordinance on Trainer Aptitude], which led to its reinstatement in 2009, may be viewed as an example of successful policy consultation. Just over a decade after the BIBB investigation, this article looks back at the evaluation of the suspension of the AEVO and its implications. The aims of this retrospective consideration are to shed greater light on the role played by research in the dialogue between the relevant VET stakeholder groups and to present the conclusions that can be drawn from this process in terms of shaping current debate on the need to modernise training for trainers.

Other Themes

Regina Dionisius, Stephan Kroll, Joachim Gerd Ulrich

Where are all the young women?

Causes of falling female participation in dual vocational education and training

Are young women increasingly turning their back on dual VET? Training market statistics from the last ten years give rise to the suspicion that this may be the case. Whilst the interest in training shown by young men has continued to climb, fewer women have commenced company-based VET year on year. The number of registered female training place applicants fell by as much as a fifth between 2009 and 2018. This article investigates the causes of a development which at first glance is confusing and concerning in equal measure. Some of the answers are surprising.
Melanie Hoppe, Gerald Braun, Kay Mieske

Business start-ups for refugees

An initiative at the University of Rostock

The “Business start-ups for refugees” initiative was launched at the University of Rostock on 1 October 2017 with the aim of integrating refugees into the German labour market. This scheme differs from other integration programmes to the extent that it offers a training measure to prepare for self-employment. The article presents the background and objective of this initiative and the initial experiences gained.


Daniel Schreiber, Nina Pörtner

Stone masonry enters the high-tech age

Updating of the training occupation of stone mason and stone sculptor

Modernised training regulations for the craft trade occupation of stone mason and stone sculptor entered into force on 1 August 2018. Traditional stone working skills are now combined with the use of programmable machines. Occupational group affiliation was investigated to prepare for the updating. The article also describes the design options that have been developed for the modernisation process.