Designing transitions for laboratory occupations from vocational and academic education and training

The joint project entitled "Clou future cluster - innovative vocational education and training" is among 17 selected for support in the federal project "Shaping the future – innovations for excellence in vocational education and training (InnoVET)". Along with the inter-company vocational training centres, economic institutes, network associations and universities, the project partners include the chemical engineering department at HTW Dresden.

Together, the researchers are seeking to develop digital formats to support people with vocational education and training in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors in moving across into the academic field and to work within academic disciplines. To support this, for example, an analysis of potential is to be developed based on which vocational training and continuing education can be individually adapted to the potential of the trainees. To this end the Dresden University of Applied Sciences (HTW Dresden) is taking on the task of developing digital testing and learning tools for laboratory occupations such as chemical laboratory technician. 

The aim of the joint project is to establish standards for inter-company training facilities in the field of chemistry and to strengthen the qualification of training and continuing education personnel in the participating regions of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Berlin-Brandenburg, and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Centres of excellence for vocational education and training are being established in Dresden, Berlin and Schkopau. These will seek to use the digital tools developed at HTW Dresden. 

"At HTW Dresden we want to design and implement attractive opportunities for the professional development of graduates with a vocational qualification. Without digital provision, this project would be so labour intensive that implementation within vocational, higher education or university education and training settings would be impossible. We are seeking to test whether, in the future, the use of digital tools can allow a more customised design of educational transitions," explains Professor Kathrin Harre, the project manager at HTW Dresden. 

The project partners of the clusters are the Saxon Education Society for Environmental Protection and Chemical Professions Dresden mbH , the Olefinpartner Training Alliance [Ausbildungsverbund Olefinpartner], the Nordostchemie Training Organisation [Bildungswerk Nordostchemie], the Munich Fraunhofer Institute, the Helmholtz Institute Dresden, TU Dresden, the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Research Institute for Leather and Plastic Sheeting [Forschungsinstitut für Leder und Kunststoffbahnen], and HTW Dresden. The project partners can now together expect funding of around four million euros to support implementation of the project over the next four years.

The chemical engineering study programme is offering internationally recognised courses which are equally respected in both the industrial and institutional environment, and which culminate in the Bachelor's and Master's of Science qualification. The study programme has been actively involved over several years in the implementation of HTW Dresden's digitalisation strategy with the use of parameterisable and customisable tasks and their application within the training as a teaching and learning tool, but also as the basis for digital testing.

Source: (website of the German university HTW Dresden), revised by iMOVE, January 2021