Increasing importance of continuing VET due to digitalisation

According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) study, almost 1 in 5 jobs in the Federal Republic of Germany are threatened by digitalisation. Experts are therefore urgently calling for a new learning culture with continuing vocational education and training forming a natural part of this.

The latest trend for the federal state of Brandenburg shows a clear fall in unemployment. Employment minister Susanna Karawanskij is even talking in terms of the best figures since German reunification. "The world of work is currently experiencing massive structural change. As a result of digitalisation, jobs will disappear, but many new ones will also emerge. Demands placed on employees will become greater due to rapid technological development. Continuing vocational education training is pivotal in ensuring the supply of skilled workers as well as in combating unemployment. We need to invest more here. In the summer, the federal government together with the federal states and social partners are seeking to launch a national continuing vocational education and training strategy. Together with others, the state of Brandenburg is working hard to develop this."

OECD study warns of significant changes in the world of work.

A new OECD study entitled "Employment Outlook – The Future of Work" also shows the importance of this type of training. According to the report, 1 in 5 jobs in Germany is said to be threatened by digitalisation. The study suggests it is low skilled workers who will be most heavily impacted by this change. The study also anticipates that 1 in 3 jobs will undergo significant change as a result of digitalisation and new technology.

While the authors of the OECD study also predict that many new jobs will emerge from the digitalisation of the world of work, very many others will also disappear. The world of work is facing a transformation greater than ever before in this regard.

Education and training will be the key to success

Employment minister Karawanskij is therefore calling for "a new learning culture. In the digital world, learning no longer takes place as a one-off or temporary event away from the company, but instead throughout our entire working lives and ideally in the workplace and during work. The occupations and requirements of work activities will increasingly change as part of digital processes. Labour market stakeholders must all support combined working and learning in the company."

One of the declared aims of the National Continuing Vocational Education and Training strategy is therefore to combine and refocus all of the continuing education and training offers provided by the federal government and the federal states. The state of Brandenburg, for example, has been supporting ESF-funded continuing vocational training courses for companies and employees in the area of continuing vocational education and training for over 15 years. An investment which it would certainly appear, when looking at the trend in unemployment figures, is paying off.

In future, however, it is likely that these measures will not be sufficient to keep pace with the rapidly changing world of work and the ever-increasing demands. Even now, year by year, more employees are utilising a range of retraining or continuing education and training offers to also ensure job security for themselves on into the future and to keep up with other employees.

Educational leave is becoming increasingly popular

In addition to professional organisations and institutes offering specific continuing education and training courses, increasing numbers of people in Germany are making use of paid educational leave. The purpose of this is to gain professional qualifications and it can be structured in a lot of different ways. Another popular form of continuing education and training is reading specialist books - something which almost half of all employees are already doing.

Source: (website on latest research results), revised by iMOVE, September 2021