In adapting training regulations to the dynamic changes in the needed skills on the labour market, modernised occupational profile items have been developed. These supplements are mandatory to all training occupations that come into force from 1 August 2021.

Occupational profile items are interdisciplinary competences within the training regulations that are the same for all apprentices. They are an essential basis for employability skills and vocational proficiency and are part of the general training plans and the subject of examinations. These generally valid qualification requirements are identical in all training occupations.

From 1 August 2021, training regulations will include the new minimum standards for the defined skills, knowledge and competences for the following four subject areas:

  • company, VET, labour and tariff law;
  • health and safety at work;
  • environmental protection and sustainability;
  • digitalised world of work.

These new occupational profile items are mandatory for all dual training regulations that come into force from 1 August 2021. For all dual training occupations regulated before 2021, the new occupational profile items have the character of recommendations

Requirements for environmental protection and sustainability

Examples of relevant competences are those defined for the subject area Environment and sustainability: ‘During work processes and with regard to products, goods or services, accord due consideration to the economic, environmentally compatible and social aspects of sustainability when using materials and energy’. All future skilled workers are asked to question aspects such as origin and production, transport routes, and the ecological and social footprint of products and services or of value-added processes within their respective apprenticeships.

Occupational profile evolution

Training contents that have a fundamental character, and so provide an indispensable foundation for competent action for every qualified skilled worker, have long been anchored in the regulations. They were last modernised at the end of the 1990s and since then updated in parts.

Nowadays, topics such as digitalisation and climate change have caused profound changes in the world of work. All apprentices must be prepared equally for these challenges during their apprenticeship. The occupational profile items for training regulations were adopted by the BIBB Board, the body responsible for the further development of VET in Germany alongside its key players. The decision was prepared within the framework of a working group consisting of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, employer and employee associations, the Länder and BIBB. The consensus principle ensures labour market proximity and transparency of the training occupations and their broad acceptance in the economy.

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Germany; Cedefop (2021). Germany: modernised occupational profile items in all training regulations.  National news on VET