VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Germany  [3]  Issues and themes of VET/HRD projects

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There are five priority areas of current VET/HRD research:
  • Employment system and supply and demand of training places
  • Modernisation of VET and quality assurance 
  • Lifelong learning and progression routes
  • Young people at risk in VET
  • Internationalisation of VET
Apart from these areas, where a vast number of projects is carried out, three large scale research and development projects/ programmes are to be mentioned. 

>  The Acquisition and the use made of vocational qualifications 

Since 1979 the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (BIBB) together with the Institute for Labour Market Research (IAB) has carried out large scale surveys on the acquisition and the use of vocational qualifications every seven years (1979, 1985/86, 1991/92, 1998/99). The latest of these surveys is actually underway (2005/2006) as a joint activity of the BIBB and the Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin BAuA (Federal Agency for Health and Safety at Work). It involves a representative sample of 20.000 of the working population. The aim of the survey is to gain information about the working population and work places to be provided for quantitative research on occupations and qualifications as well as on work safety. Questions focus on the work place: core tasks; level of requirements for knowledge, skills and competences; training needs; work conditions and health issues. The second part concerns the relation between education (general, initial and continuing vocational education and training) and occupation, occupational mobility and the use made of qualifications in occupations etc.

>  Qualifications, Competences and Employment Trajectories

A new large scale research project was launched on “Qualifications, competences and employment trajectories” by the Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung IAB (Institute for Labour Market Research) in 2005. The aim of the project is to analyse the relations between certificates, basic cognitive competences and employment trajectories of adults in a longitudinal survey. There are three essential foci of questions: (1) The relation between basic cognitive competences and qualifications with different occupational groups; (2) the relevance of competences as compared to qualifications for occupational success and their changing influence in the individual employment history; (3) the interaction between employment situation, participation in education and training as well as the development of competences. The research project has two dimensions: Firstly, a longitudinal panel survey with a first wave and a second wave four years later, addressing a sample of 10.000 out of the 18-50 year old residential population of Germany. It includes retrospective questions on educational and occupational biographies. Secondly, actual recurrent competence assessments with 4000 persons taken from the bigger sample. 

>  Two model programmes on credit transfer 

One of the main priorities of the Ministry for Education and Research is to create educational pathways by promoting access, transfer and progression. For that matter two model programmes were launched, one concerning pathways between further VET and Higher Education, the other one concerning pathways within VET. Both programmes are co-funded by the ESF. 

The first programme (2005-2007) aims toestablish processes and procedures to recognise competences acquired in formal VET, or at the work place, to facilitate access to university courses. Learning outcomes have to be defined in a way that they can be credited according to the terms of the European Credit Transfer System. 12 major regional projects are funded involving 60 universities. They are accompanied by consultation committees with experts from enterprises, competent bodies, employees’ representatives and providers. The development and testing of various models are scientifically monitored and evaluated. 

The second programme (2006-2008) focuses on the interfaces between vocational preparation and dual training programmes, between dual training programmes, between dual and full-time school programmes, between initial dual training and further training. The aim is to recognise learning outcomes from different programmes and venues that can be accumulated for a vocational qualification. The programme takes into account the proposed ECVET as well as the special context, conditions and terms of German VET based on the “Beruf “ concept. The management structure of the programme is the same as for the first programme. 

ANNEX: Selection of ERO Base projects

Training place provision

Jobstarter - Training for the future (Jobstarter - Für die Zukunft ausbilden)
Initial vocational training
Full-time school vocational training in selected European countries with a dual vocational training system (Vollzeitschulische Berufsausbildung in ausgewählten europäischen Ländern mit dualen Berufsbildungsangeboten)

Cooperation of Learning Venues in Vocational Education (Kooperation der Lernorte in der beruflichen Bildung)

Learning / competence and skill development
Early Identification Network (Früherkennung von Qualifikationserfordernissen im Netz, FreQueNz)

Self-directed and cooperative learning in initial vocational training (Selbst gesteuertes und kooperatives Lernen in der beruflichen Erstausbildung, SKOLA)

New learning concepts within the dual vocational education and training (Neue Lernkonzepte in der dualen Berufsausbildung)

Lifelong Learning
Learning regions - Providing Support for Networks (Lernende Regionen - Förderung von Netzwerken)

Learning Culture for Skill Development (Lernkultur Kompetenzentwicklung)

Lifelong Learning (Lebenslanges Lernen)

Validation of informal and non formal learning
Informal Competences and their Validation in VET (ICOVET)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in VET
Systematic Integration of Media and ICT in Teaching and Learning Processes (Systematische Einbeziehung von Medien, Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien in Lehr- und Lernprozesse, SEMIK)

Embedding ICT/Multimedia Standardisation Initiatives into European Vocational Training Development Strategies

Training of trainers
Innovative further training of teachers in vocational schools (Innovative Fortbildung der Lehrer an beruflichen Schulen, innovelle-bs)
Disadvantaged young people
Promoting Skills - Vocational Qualification for Target Groups with Special Support Requirements (Kompetenzen fördern - Berufliche Qualifizierung für Zielgruppen mit besonderem Förderbedarf, BQF-Programm)
Human Resource Development (HRD)
Mastering the Future with Experience - Competitive with Older Employees (Mit Erfahrung Zukunft meistern - wettbewerbsfähig mit älteren Mitarbeitern, MEZ)

In-company continuing training for older workers in SMEs and the development of regional support structures (Betriebliche Weiterbildung von älteren Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmern in KMU und Entwicklung von regionalen Supportstrukturen, AgeQual)

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Germany (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO