The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has been investigating whether there is a need to modernise the four existing dual programmes for information technology (IT) occupations which have remained unchanged since 1997. Against the background of the increasing digitalisation of the world of work, the aims were to identify current and foreseeable requirements for skilled IT staff and to draw up proposals for the future shaping of the IT occupations.
The results of the latest wbmonitor survey show that continuing education and training reached a peak of economic activity in 2016. Organisations providing language and technical qualifications for refugees were notable in experiencing significant developments.
In Germany, some 300 000 entrepreneurs take the plunge into self-employment each year. Start-ups are of vast significance for the economy: not only do they create new jobs, they also drive competitiveness and innovation in a social market economy.
Education plays a central role in integrating refugees. More than half of the refugees arriving in Germany are younger than 25, an age when education is most needed. Many have gained a university entrance qualification in their home country, or had commenced or completed a degree programme there. With funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) has developed a set of targeted measures to enable universities to offer those refugees with sufficient academic qualification access to higher general and higher vocational education.
One of the EU’s headline targets is increasing the number of tertiary graduates, focusing mainly on academic studies. The project Work-based learning programmes in the tertiary training sector - an international comparative analysis of models and functions published its results at the end of 2017, pointing out that this approach is too narrow. The growing importance of work-based learning programmes in tertiary education and training needs to be taken more into consideration.
The chemical sector has invested billions in automation and information technology and this is set to continue in the future. The next level of productivity increases, in relation to Industry 4.0, will present the industry with major challenges. Increasing automation in industry requires qualified personnel: electronics technicians for automation technology are responsible for production systems and are important workers in this sector.
Since the millennium, the ratio of first year students has almost doubled to around 60 per cent in Germany. For some time now, policy makers in education and training have been advocating the maximum possible ratio of academics, with success. Public respect for VET has fallen; increasing numbers of parents believe that it is impossible to have a career without an academic degree. However, if a career is understood as being an occupational pathway which is intellectually, financially and individually satisfying, this is incorrect.
Global challenges such as climate change, sustainable energy supply, food security and migration do not stop at national borders. No country can answer these challenges by itself. Solutions can only emerge through transborder cooperation in education, science and research.
Ways of cooperating were discussed during German Ambassador to Greece Jens Plötner’s visit to Cedefop on 1 August.