Training on sustainability in food industry occupations
Conference for the key development area pilot project "VET for sustainable development"
Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the skilled trades of the food sector and in the food industry plays a key role in supporting a sustainable focus in the sector as a whole.
The six pilot projects in the key development area of "Vocational education and training for sustainable development" (BBNE) are innovation partnerships based in research and practice which support a range of occupations in the skilled trades of the food sector and in the food industry. These projects are now showing how the sustainability skills of trainees can be supported. Over 20 project partners and almost 70 practice-based partners from companies and vocational schools were involved in this. New academic findings and practical design tools have been developed.
The findings are being presented in february 2022 at the online conference of the BBNE pilot projects "Nachhaltig ausbilden: Standard! Kompetente Fachkräfte für die Agenda 2030" [Sustainability training: as standard! Competent skilled workers for Agenda 2030] of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The conference is being attended by almost 300 guests from politics, academia, and vocational education and training practice.
The pilot project research focused on the question of the potential offered by food sector occupations for promoting sustainable development and how to nurture competencies associated with this.
When restructuring training occupations, sustainability is becoming ever more significant and is important for the attractiveness of vocational education and training – particularly with regard to the younger generation.
BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser
"When restructuring training occupations, sustainability is becoming ever more significant and is important for the attractiveness of vocational education and training – particularly with regard to the younger generation," explains BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser. "In light of this, the recently updated standard occupational profile on sustainability should be regarded as a key milestone. With the now complete pilot projects able to provide those in practice with appropriate teaching and learning materials for their day-to-day work, they are also playing their part in helping breweries, bakeries, patisseries, dairies and others to breathe life into the requirements of the new standard occupational profiles."
A wide range of design tools have been created in the pilot projects, from learning tasks for trainees, to pedagogical handouts for VET personnel through to info films and workshop concepts. These tools include a web-based learning app providing the bakery trade with a flexible tool for skills development for use in everyday training.
Via a series of interactive challenges, trainees learn in a fun way how to act at work with a sustainable focus. Key topics include fair supply chains, procurement, and the processing of organically produced raw materials as well as environmentally sustainable packaging. A competency model for food-producing occupations has also been developed. Across the different areas of activity, this systematically highlights what it means to think and act sustainably in the occupation.
The pilot projects of the BBNE key development area are supported by BIBB with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). At this point, the now completed funding line III pilot projects are passing on the baton to the new "BBNE transfer 2020–2022" funding line launched last year. The new funding line, which comprises seven pilot projects, is aiming to develop methods for the transfer of knowledge and in particular to qualify training personnel for this purpose.
The standard occupational profiles describe new training content which applies across all occupations for the areas of
- Environmental protection and sustainability
- Digitalised world of work
- Organisation of the training company, vocational education and training
- Employment and collective bargaining law
- Health and safety at work
The content has identical wording and has applied since August 2021 with binding effect to all updated or newly developed dual training occupations. They have the status of a recommendation in all existing training occupations.
Download useful materials and products from the pilot projects free of charge.
Germany's in-company training is structured according to nationwide standards. They are anchored in the training regulations by law. They are occupation-specific and are based on real work processes.
Source: press release of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), revised by iMOVE, February 2022