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Session Overview
Paper Session 6C: Future skills and competences
Friday, 04/Feb/2022:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Antje BARABASCH
Location: Room 3

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Is the dual vet System on the scrap heap?


bbw University of Aplied Sciences, Germany

1. Current situation

The world of work is changing as a result of ongoing digitization. The COVID-19 pandemic could further accelerate the process of automation as industrial companies shift production back to avoid reliance on global supply chains, investing more in robots (Marin 2021). Meanwhile, the discussion about the consequences of the industrial automation and the development of the artificial intelligence (AI) questions the vocational training system altogether (Bosch 2016).

According to a study by Frey and Osborne (2017), about 47% of the tasks or activities could already be automated today. In Germany, according to Dengler and Matthes (2015), the substitution potential is much higher at 74 to 82%. This is particularly the case in industrial metal and electrical occupations. It is reasonable to assume that jobs with frequently repetitive or highly structured work in a predictable environment are expected to be fully automated. This raises the question of whether we are qualifying for professions that are disappearing.

In many countries, the dual system of vocational education and training is considered a role model and essential for German economic success (Juskalian 2018). Increasingly, however, doubts are being raised as to whether the model can keep pace with the technological changes. For example, Hanushek et al. (2017) doubt that skilled workers are well prepared by the German vocational training system for the changes in the economy resulting from robotics, AI, and automation, as they cannot build on the very job-specific skills from their training for the rest of their working lives.

2. Questions

Which skills are expected of employees in the future? How could the vocational training in metalworking and electrical engineering be designed sustainably? What opportunities does the German system of vocational education and training, for example, offer in this regard?

Reframing VET by strengthening competence for diversity. Findings from a comparative analysis Germany and Switzerland

Silvia POOL MAAG1, Susanne MIESERA2

1Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland; 2Munich TUM School of Education

Future vocational education and training considers the qualification of individuals with a variety of diversity characteristics. This understanding of diversity does not focus on individual dimensions of diversity, but on the intersection of different diversity factors that learners may have in common or in which they may differ. Countries with strong dual education systems need to address the challenges of diversity if they are to continue to train students successfully. What strengths and weaknesses do Germany and Switzerland contribute to a forward-looking vocational education system? This study focuses on the macro, meso and micro levels of these countries. Both countries have used different strategies and policy to reform education systems, with a particular focus on learners with disabilities and disadvantages. At the same time, it is evident that there are too few efforts at the implementation level of teacher education and diversity-sensitive classroom design. Based on the analyses and the country comparison, requirements for the VET-culture, for the system, the structure of the educational programs and professionalization of the educational staff in the VET are mentioned.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in Computing and Hospitality – Findings from an Explorative Access.


1University of Zurich, Switzerland; 2University of Zurich, Switzerland

Critical thinking and problem solving are among the competencies of the 21st century. These are crucial competencies that are seen as prerequisites for unrestricted and successful employment in a constantly changing world of work and that enable people to deal with increasingly complex work processes or changes in professions and pursue a meaningful and satisfying vocational biography.

Critical thinking and problem solving involve on the one hand the ability of viewing and analyzing complex issues from different perspectives, and on the other hand, goal-oriented action in situations characterized by uncertainty and non-transparent, networked structures. Both competences have already found their way into recent (vocational) education policy discussions, for example, in the creation of guiding principles for the further development of vocational education and training in Switzerland.

With a view to two basic vocational training programs - "Hotel Management Assistant EFZ" and "Computer Scientist EFZ" - the contribution provides preliminary insights on the extent to which the required competencies of critical thinking and problem solving have already found their way into curricula and company training practice.

Conceptualizations of Creativity in VET

Silke Fischer1, Antje Barabasch2

1EHB, Switzerland; 2EHB, Switzerland

The development of transversal competences, such as creativity, is increasingly addressed in the policy world as being essential to prepare young people adequately for the labour market (European Commission, 2020). Therefore, the question is how this can become a central aspect in VET teacher education in order to prepare teachers to address creativity in their instruction. This is a central aspect in the work of one member of the Leadinghouse für Berufsfelddidaktik, which focuses in the following years on the development of transversal competences in VET. We do not know yet, how VET teachers as much as lecturers at universities conceptualize creativity, and therefore, conducted an empirical study in which we interviewed 20 lectures at five universities in Switzerland. Questions were concerned with their individual perceptions of creativity, approaches to teaching, their leadership style, how important they consider creativity in higher education and barriers that they view in promoting creativity. Interviews are currently transcribed and analyzed. First results show that creativity-promoting teaching/learning scenarios are following criteria as openness of tasks, self-reflection, product orientation and the inclusion of multi-perspectivity. Additionally, the findings indicate that although creativity is perceived as very important by the lecturers, it is not explicitly promoted in vocational teacher education. This is particularly evident in the fact that no binding learning objectives for promoting creativity are pursued in the individual modules. Furthermore, creativity techniques, such as brainstorming, are applied but not consciously used to develop creativity in the long term.

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