How to take digitalization and sustainability into account in training occupations

The standard occupational profile items apply cross-professionally to all 326 training occupations. They have been further developed in April 2020 and now also take aspects of digitalization and sustainability explicitly into account. GOVET offers an overview in a new publication in Arabic, German, English, Hebrew, Russian and Spanish.

How to take digitalization and sustainability into account in training occupations

A special feature of the high quality of vocational training occupations in the German dual system is the constant adaptation to the requirements of the economy. The specialist departments of the  German Federal Government and its social partners pay attention to changes in the economy and  update or supplement training ordinances and framework curricula of the vocational training  occupations. As a result, new demands on skilled workers are incorporated into the training cycle  promptly and dynamically.

Qualification requirements that are identical in all vocational training occupations are integrated into  all training ordinances as standard occupational profile items. In 2020, the standard occupational  profile items “organisation of the training provider, vocational training, and labour law and collective  bargaining law” and “occupational health and safety at work” were updated. Training contents in the  “environmental protection and sustainability” and “digitalised world of work” fields of expertise have been added. Digitalisation affects all processes and structures in industry, trade and the skilled crafts. Supply  chains are becoming faster, while processing is often performed on a mobile device and virtually.

Companies in all industries and professions are learning to adapt to this radical change in order to  continue holding their own on the market, today and in the future. Trainees are prepared for both  the current needs of the economy and the strong momentum of change. Vocational training staff  also continuously take part in further training measures in this context. Sustainability in all dimensions is one of the challenges, if not the major challenge, of our time.

Dwindling resources and the impacts of environmental changes caused by humans are forcing  societies to design their ways of life and industries in a manner that preserves resources better and   is more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Apart from ecological and economical aspects of  sustainability – which range from waste avoidance and recycling to innovative processes and  methods – the trainees also learn to act sustainably from a social perspective.

The standard occupational profile items were developed in a working group of the Board of the  Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The Board is the body for the further  development of vocational education and training in Germany, with the involvement of all its key  stakeholders. The working group consisted of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education  and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the employers’ and  employees’ associations, the federal states and BIBB. The consensus principle aims for the greatest  possible unanimity during the development of national training standards by social partners and the  Federal Government as well as coordination with the federal states, thus ensuring the labour‐market  relevance and transparency of the vocational occupations and their broad acceptance by business  and industry.

The new standards are mandatory for all dual training ordinances that come into force from 1 August  2021. It is recommended that the new teaching content be implemented for all 326 dual training  professions now.  It is hoped that the translations of the standard occupational profile items provided in the publication  will serve as a source of inspiration and starting point for dialogue in international TVET cooperation.