What can we do to promote sustainable development when we are standing at the work bench, sitting in the office or working behind the counter? Which vocational competences are needed to enable us to focus on the sustainability principle when at work? What should a learning location look like to make this a reality? The Federal Institute for VET, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has 12 pilot projects aiming to embed sustainability within the structure of vocational education and training (VET). Six million EUR has been provided for these projects.From learning German to help with vocational and educational training: the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the integration of refugees with an extensive package of measures.

The intention is to develop, trial and evaluate relevant curriculum concepts, digital teaching, learning materials and examination questions for initial and continuing education and training by 2019. Specialist advanced education and training will ensure that personnel delivering training are fully prepared for the challenge. When completed, this advanced education and training will be certified by the chambers of industry and commerce.

The current focal points of support are divided into two support areas, each with six cooperation projects. The first is focused on sustainable competence development for commercial professions; the second is on sustainable learning locations.

The six projects which focus on the design of learning locations mainly involve companies providing training but also inter-company vocational training centres (ICVECs) and vocational schools. Organisational and personnel development will ensure that sustainability aspects in training and working practice for trainees at local level are specific, tangible and flexible in their design. An indicator system will be developed for sustainable learning locations across all projects. This will aim to set out what constitutes a sustainable learning location, how this is different to a non-sustainable learning location, and how to contend with potential resistance.

These pilot projects involve 27 cooperation partners. The multidisciplinary nature of those involved, as well as cooperation with companies and education and training providers, are important components for the success of these projects. Even before the projects started, about 135 executive cooperation partners, such as companies, education and training associations, and about 45 strategic partners, such as chambers, professional associations, unions and federal institutes, were involved. The involvement of further stakeholders is planned. The aim of this networking within the project consortia is to achieve a wide-ranging transfer of structures.

As a result of these 12 pilot projects, a range of materials will be available to support education and training practice. Besides recommendations on education and training design and didactic implementation aids, the aim is to provide handouts for specific occupations, teaching and learning materials integrating a range of different media, and also check-lists.

More information:

www.bibb.de/mv-bbne (German only)