German economy depends on a skilled labour force. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has recently revised several training regulations to respond to continually changing skill demands.
Training curricula and examination topics of the following occupations have been modernised in cooperation with social partners:
- confectionery technician;
- food engineering specialist;
- ice cream specialist;
- maker of plucked musical instruments;
- management assistant for insurance and finance;
- mechatronics engineer for two-wheeled vehicles;
- mechatronics engineer for agricultural and construction vehicles;
- motor vehicle body and vehicle construction mechanics;
- office management assistant;
Below are some examples:
Training programmes for motor vehicle body and vehicle construction mechanics were adapted to reflect technological changes in repair and diagnosis methods, new joining techniques and stricter provisions for reducing harmful substances.
Three occupations – office communication assistant, office assistant for trade and industry, and office communication clerk for the public sector – have been combined to form the office management assistant occupation, with currently about 84 000 apprenticeship contracts. This largest training profession provides fully trained assistants with greater flexibility on the employment market due to cross-departmental qualifications. Tailored elective qualifications cover specific office tasks in companies and government agencies.
For mechatronics engineers, examination times and equipment have been significantly optimised. In future, time required for full-time master craftsmen and qualified personnel qualifications will be reduced. With this measure, BMWi hopes to win over more young practitioners for the examination committees.
A central challenge of vocational education and training (VET) policy is to identify potentials and implement technological developments in time. Modern training regulations are indispensable when it comes to increasing VET’s attractiveness for young people. This is the only way to strengthen Germany as a place for production and technology.