Modern vocational education and training standards for all training occupations

Digitalisation and sustainability programme becomes compulsory for trainees

"Digitalised world of work", "Environmental protection and sustainability", "Health and safety at work", "Organisation of the training company, vocational education and training as well as employment and collective bargaining law" – these are the four standard occupational profiles which must be included as a compulsory element from August 2021 in all revised training occupations in the dual system. The new standards are a recommendation only for dual training occupations regulated under the Vocational Training Act or the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code before 2021.

The training content has identical wording for all training occupations. It aims to ensure that, across all occupations, trainees in future are able to acquire competencies as part of modern and forward-thinking training. These are competencies which, as the aspiring skilled workers of tomorrow, they are going to need in a changing world of work in order to maintain their employability over the long term.

This includes, for example, informed use of digital media and data, communication and social skills, as well as social diversity and mutual respect. The minimum content required in future for all training occupations will also include acting with foresight to support improvement in sustainable activity, taking into account the economic, environmental and social aspects in one's own working environment. These competencies will always be delivered, throughout the entire training period, in combination with specialist knowledge specific to the occupation and will also be a topic covered in the examinations.

Friedrich Hubert Esser, President of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), believes the new standards make a twofold contribution to the attractiveness of vocational education and training: "On the one hand, they specifically take into account the new demands imposed on companies as a result of the structural transformation and changed customer requirements. On the other, the new training content in particular accommodates the media, social and environmental interests of many young people. So it’s not only the individual occupations, but also the dual system of vocational education and training as a whole that is receiving an upgrade with this modern training content!"

The modernisation of the new standards was undertaken by a working group of the BIBB Board. In line with the Board composition, this involved representatives of employer and employee organisations, the federal government, and federal states and BIBB. The new cross-occupational content replaces the previous standards which were developed at the end of the 1990s.

To support the introduction of the new content in companies, a commentary has been developed and BIBB has also created a separate website. Over the course of the year, further information in the form of a brochure and a number of explanatory videos for trainers and trainees will follow.

Source: (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, August 2021