The new academic school year 2018/19 started in August and young people could choose among 326 recognised occupations in the dual VET system at EQF level 4. These qualifications include 24 updated and one newly developed qualification, the ‘merchant in e-commerce’ (Kaufmann/Kauffrau in E-Commerce), reflecting an increased change of skills needed in the German economy.

Online trade is booming and E-commerce is an increasingly popular way to merchandise goods and services. This growing area asked to set up the new merchant in e-commerce qualification, also covering areas such as customer services and online banking. The focus of this occupation is managing and operating e-business between a company and a private person (business-to-consumer, B2C) or between two companies (business-to-business, B2B).

Among those 24 updated qualifications, there are 11 for metal working and electrical occupations which were adapted to meet the new skill needs. Qualifications additional to the metal working occupations included process integration and IT-based plant modifications. The electrical occupations will include now also programming, IT security and digital networking in future.

The updated metal working curricular training regulations are:

  • mechatronics fitter;
  • plant mechanic;
  • industrial mechanic;
  • construction mechanic;
  • tools mechanic;
  • milling machine operator.

The revised electrical training regulations are:

  • electronics technician specialising in automation technology;
  • electronics technician for industrial engineering;
  • electronics technician for building and infrastructure systems;
  • electronics technician for devices and systems;
  • electronics technician for information and systems technology.

From 2008 to 2017 the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), together with the responsible federal ministries, social partners and experts from company practice, has created 12 new training regulations and updated 114. The updating process follows the same procedures as the process of developing new training regulations and involves the same group of stakeholders.

The fact that within a single year 25 training regulations have been updated or, in one case, newly developed, reflects the accelerating speed of skill change in the economy; this largely arises from developments in technological and digital fields. The flexibility and capability of the German dual VET system, with its institutionalised cooperation between state and social partners, is a major precondition to securing the provision of the skills needed for the future labour market.

Read more:

Cedefop; ReferNet (2016). Vocational education and training in Europe: Germany.
BIBB (2014). Training regulations and how they come about.
BIBB (2018). Datenreport.