Smart occupations for the electrical skilled trades

Restructured skilled trade electrical occupations enter into force on 1 August.

The group of skilled trade electrical and information technology occupations will be redefined from 1 August 2021. Smart Home & Building, Smart Living & Work and increasing digitalisation ("Industry 4.0") are changing work processes and tasks in the electrical technology, information technology and electrical engineering trades. Trends towards smart installations and increasingly extensive networking require vocational education and training with a greater focus for employees on system understanding to equip them for digital working and strengthen personal competencies, and to enable them to act in a changing work environment. 

On behalf of the Federal Government, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has worked together with the relevant federal ministries as well as social partners and experts from company practice to update the training content of the skilled trade electrical occupations and, to a large extent, to standardise the training content. 

In detail:

The occupations of "Electronics technician for building systems integration" is being newly created. It is aimed in particular at skilled trade businesses operating as system providers. For young people it opens up career opportunities with great prospects in the specialisms of planning and design of networked building technology. 

The occupation of "Electronics technician" will focus in future on the two specialisms of energy and building technology and on automation and systems technology.

The occupation of "Information electronics technician" will in future comprise four areas of work: equipment, IT and office systems technology; transmission, reception and broadband technology; security and hazard detection technology; and telecommunications. The occupation of "Systems electronics technician" will in turn be removed.

The content of the occupation "Electronics technician for machines and drive technology" has been updated, however due to different examination regulations this has been revised in terms of regulation into two occupations – on the one hand under the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), on the other under the Crafts and Trades Regulation Code (HwO). 

Common areas of learning make joint training possible for the first year of training – this also includes the industrial electrical occupations.

BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser regards this reorganisation of the occupational group as a clear signal that, with these training occupations, the electrical skilled trades are asserting their position in Economy 4.0 and in so doing are also making an outstanding contribution to the attractiveness of the dual system of vocational education and training as well as to combating the shortage of skilled workers. "This restructuring demonstrates once again the progressive way in which the skilled trades are accepting the challenges of the digital structural change and thus clearly setting a course for the future, both for companies as well as for those setting out on their careers."

BIBB, together with experts for each occupation, is currently developing materials which are to be published for the start of training in the BIBB series "Structuring training". At the end of April, BIBB is also organising a three-part online seminar, the aim of which is to introduce the occupations and to respond to questions, including on examinations and on intercompany training.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), BIBB is also running the InnoVET programme initiative and the special programme "ÜBS Digitalisation" which includes ongoing projects relating to the electrical skilled trades as well as the opportunity for equipment funding from the Federal Government.

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