BIBB REPORT Edition 7/09
A look behind the scenes of continuing vocational training in Germany
Facts and figures from the supplementary national survey to CVTS3
Dick Moraal, Barbara Lorig, Daniel Schreiber, Ulrike Azeez
The third European survey on continuing vocational training in enterprises (Continuing Vocational Training Survey, CVTS3) shows that continuing vocational training is stagnating in Germany and is even on the decline in some cases. Compared to other European countries, Germany continues to place only in midfield. The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) conducted a supplementary national survey to CVTS3 in early 2008. This survey dealt with additional questions regarding qualitative aspects of continuing vocational training and was conducted on behalf of and with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The supplementary national survey to CVTS3 provides findings on the linking of initial vocational training and continuing vocational training in enterprises, on the relationship between the different forms of learning used in continuing vocational training in enterprises and the different types of competences employees have, and on learning in atypical employee groups and measures to foster older employees.
The European surveys on continuing vocational training in enterprises (CVTS = Continuing Vocational Training Survey) provide information regarding the quantitative and qualitative structures of continuing vocational training and supply comparable data from numerous European countries.
Continuing vocational training (CVT) is an important part of lifelong learning and is therefore of great importance for the political sector, trade, industry, society and all individuals. The subject of the CVTS, the European Continuing Vocational Training Survey, is how continuing vocational training is practised by enterprises in Europe. The findings from the CVTS3 survey indicate that continuing vocational training is stagnating in Germany and is even on the decline in some cases. Compared to other European countries, Germany continues to rank no higher than midfield. And compared to European countries with similar socio-economic structures, Germany actually trails North European and West European countries. Fewer companies in Germany offered their employees continuing vocational training in 2005 than in 1999, and fewer employees in all firms participated in continuing training. However, those firms that provided continuing vocational training courses trained more employees and also made more learning time for CVT available per participant. Despite this, enterprises invested nominally less overall in continuing training per participant, which was particularly evident in the amount of direct expenditure on courses (course fees, etc.) (BEHRINGER, MORAAL, SCHÖNFELD 2008; EUROSTAT 2008).
The CVTS gathers data on the offerings and use of various forms of continuing vocational training, on participants, the number of hours spent participating in CVT and the cost of CVT, plus qualitative data on continuing training concepts and the importance of continuing training in enterprises. The CVTS survey was conducted for the years 1993, 1999 and 2005. Twenty-eight countries and more than 100,000 enterprises participated in the CVTS3 Survey.
The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has participated in the methodological preparation and evaluation of the European Continuing Vocational Training Surveys for more than 15 years now. BIBB conducted a supplementary national survey for each of the first two European Continuing Vocational Training Surveys (CVTS1 and CVTS2). These supplementary surveys dealt with additional questions regarding qualitative aspects of continuing vocational training. The third European survey was conducted in 2006 with the reference year 2005. It too was augmented by a supplementary national survey (GRÜNEWALD, MORAAL 1996; GRÜNEWALD, MORAAL, SCHÖNFELD 2003).
The objective of the CVTS3 supplementary national survey was to provide augmenting data on vocational training in enterprises to be used to extend and deepen the key data on continuing vocational training that was obtained through the main pan-European survey (CVTS3 SUPPLEMENTARY NATIONAL SURVEY 2008). The supplementary national survey conducted telephone interviews with firms that provide continuing vocational training and had already participated in the main survey. This approach made it possible to link the data from the supplementary survey with the data from the main survey and enabled an extensive analysis of company training strategies against the backdrop of a wide variety of structural conditions.
The CVTS3 survey and the CVTS3 supplementary national survey used the following definitions for CVT: Continuing vocational training comprises courses and seminars (continuing training in the narrower sense) and other forms of continuing vocational training (such as information courses, training in the workplace and self-directed learning) (SCHMIDT 2007).
The CVTS3 survey covered 2,188 enterprises in Germany that provide continuing vocational training. Firms with ten or more employees in all sectors except for agriculture/forestry, public administration, the military and the health, social and education sectors were surveyed. For the supplementary survey 302 interviews were conducted (using the CATI - computer-assisted telephone interview - method) with those individuals who are responsible for continuing vocational training in their companies. The findings from the surveyed firms that provide continuing vocational training were extrapolated with the aid of a weighting factor that the Federal Statistical Office calculated specially for the CVTS3 survey.
What vocational training options do firms offer?
The CVTS3 supplementary national survey shows that the companies surveyed offer not only continuing vocational training but a wide variety of other vocational training options as well (see Table 1). The main emphasis is on periods of practical instruction or training ('practicals') for secondary school pupils and university students (93%),(01)advanced vocational training (79%) and initial vocational training under the Vocational Training Act / Crafts and Trade Code (75%).
Only 14% of the surveyed enterprises that provide continuing vocational training offer six or even seven different forms of vocational training at the same time: These companies are consequently very active in providing CVT.
The larger the company, the more likely it offered nearly all
vocational training options: Fourteen per cent of all enterprises that
provide continuing vocational training offer nearly all training
options. This figure is 37% in firms with more than 500 employees.
Substantial differences could not be observed between the manufacturing
sector (12%) and the service sector (15%). It is striking that
noticeably more firms in the 'financial intermediation' and 'wholesale
and retail trade' sectors (29%) that provide continuing vocational
training offer a broad range of vocational training options than
manufacturing firms (15%) do. This broad range of training options can
be observed more frequently in enterprises that provide continuing
vocational training in Germany's western states (15%) than among their
counterparts in the eastern states (9%).
How do enterprises support continuing training?
The survey makes it clear that enterprises use a wide variety of instruments to foster their employees' vocational training. Of fundamental important are measures that allow employees to be released from work and enable flexible working hours (see Table 2) - alongside the respective financing solution.
Most (91%) of the enterprises surveyed provide their employees financial assistance for continuing vocational training, 86% release them from work, 74% offer flexible working hours and 69% provide access to company resources. This mix of assistance measures can also be seen when enterprises that offer continuing training are examined by company size. The importance of financial assistance is nearly the same in all size classifications. On the other hand, releasing employees from work, using flexible working hours and providing access to company resources is less important in small firms than it is in large enterprises. Financial assistance is somewhat less important in those companies in the manufacturing sector that provide continuing vocational training than it is among their counterparts in the service sector. By contrast, the manufacturing sector tends to use the option of releasing employees from work more than the service sector does. Both sectors offer flexible working hours and make company resources available equally often.
Looking at a breakdown by sector, the instrument 'release from work' is less important in the retail and wholesale trade sector. Banks and insurance companies (financial intermediation sector) make especial use of flexible working hours and access to company resources. The skilled trades in particular provide access to company resources for the continuing vocational training of its employees and are considerably less likely to release employees from work or offer flexible working hours. Providing access to company resources and flexible working hours are markedly more important in enterprises in Germany's western states than they are among enterprises in the country's eastern states.
Linking of initial vocational training and continuing vocational training
Based on data from the CVTS3 survey, it has been possible for the first time to draw a European comparison of enterprise participation in the provision of initial vocational training for youths and the level of employee participation in continuing training. A better linking of initial and continuing vocational training with the aim of enabling greater permeability in the education system is one fundamental demand that is being directed at the political sector - by the Innovation Circle on Vocational Education and Training, a panel of experts on innovation in vocational education and training (INNOVATIONSKREIS BERUFLICHE BILDUNG 2006), among other bodies: Continuing vocational training should be expanded in Germany - on the lines of lifelong learning - to supplement the country's good vocational training system (SAUTER 2003).
The supplementary CVTS3 survey investigated how closely initial vocational training and continuing vocational training are linked in enterprises. Five indicators were developed for this. Two of them focus on internal organisation (the planning of initial and continuing vocational training and the deployment of training personnel), two are related to learning activities in enterprises (use of elective modules and additional qualifications as training instruments which can also be used for continuing vocational training) and one applies - in addition to this - to external co-operation (collaboration between enterprises).
Using these indicators, enterprises can be typified based on the level of linkage (poles: no linkage - strong linkage). These indicators also make it possible to interpret enterprises' continuing vocational training activities in comparison to their initial vocational training activities. Table 3 lists the findings for these indicators.
Three-fourths of the enterprises that provide continuing vocational training do so in accordance with the Vocational Training Act / Crafts and Trade Code. Looking at this group, 43% of the enterprises surveyed provided vocational training for one occupation and a majority of 57% provided vocational training for several occupations during the time from 2005 through 2007.
The intensity of the linkage between initial vocational training and continuing vocational training in enterprises was measured using the above indicators. A total of 23% of the enterprises that provided initial and continuing vocational training reported that none of the indicators applied to the linkage between initial and continuing vocational training in their company. A breakdown of the five indicators reveals that all five applied to 3% of the remaining 77% of the enterprises, and four indicators applied to 9%. The intensity of the linkage between initial and continuing vocational training was greatest in these two groups which represent a combined share of 12%.
Based on this, strong linkage between initial and continuing vocational training exists in only a little more than one-tenth of the surveyed enterprises that provide continuing vocational training. Despite this, the respondents who are responsible for vocational training in their companies are aware that a strong linkage will become increasingly important in the future. Thus 87% of the enterprises agreed with the statement that lifelong learning means that initial and continuing vocational training should be better co-ordinated in enterprises.
A majority of 60% of enterprises agreed with the statement that continuing vocational training should be expanded. A total of 39% of this group was of the opinion that both initial and continuing vocational training should be stepped up. Twenty-one per cent advocated increasing the amount of continuing vocational training relative to initial vocational training. By contrast, 35% of the enterprises surveyed were of the opinion that initial vocational training and continuing vocational training should be maintained at the level seen to date and 5% felt that initial vocational training should be increased.
Forms of learning used in continuing vocational training
Continuing vocational training uses very diverse forms of learning. In addition to traditional continuing vocational training activities such as seminars and courses (divided into internal or external training courses in the interview), 'other' forms of continuing vocational training such as planned phases of continuing vocational training in the workplace, self-directed learning and information courses also play an important role (GRÜNEWALD, MORAAL, WEIß, GNAHS 1998). For this reason, all three European continuing vocational training surveys - as well as the representative national surveys of enterprises and workers in Germany - examined a list of 'other' forms of continuing vocational training:
- Planned phases of continuing vocational training in the workplace: instruction provided by superiors, specialists or co-workers and learning through the use of normal working equipment/materials and other media (induction training),
- Specialised lectures, trade conferences/congresses/symposia/ colloquia, trade fairs, groups set up for exchanging information on past experience and other information activities,
- Systematic continuing vocational training via job rotation and/or exchange programmes with other enterprises,
- Participation in learning circles/quality circles,
- Self-directed learning through distance learning, audiovisual aids such as videos, computer-based learning, the internet (SCHMIDT 2007).
On-the-job learning and learning that takes place in close connection with the individual's work processes are in no way new. Some of these forms of learning - such as continuing training in the workplace (instruction provided by superiors, induction training) and continuing training in information courses - have always been important and were used at the enterprises surveyed. For this reason, it is more likely that they can be classified as conventional 'other' forms of continuing vocational training. Job rotation, exchange programmes, learning circles, quality circles and self-directed learning count as more modern 'other' forms of continuing vocational training. In the case of these forms of learning, it is assumed that they can be put to effective use particularly during production-related or organisational changes and additionally enable learning in the workplace.
When all the forms of learning offered in an enterprise are to be counted, it is necessary to take these 'other' forms of learning into consideration as well, along with traditional continuing training activities. Combining different forms of learning (internal or external training courses and forms of learning that take place in the workplace) can especially make work more conducive to learning. The more differentiated this combination is, the more conducive the conditions in the individual enterprise are to learning.
Ninety per cent of the enterprises surveyed offered information courses, 79% offered external training courses and 77% instruction by superiors and/or induction training. Internal training courses are conducted at 67% of the enterprises surveyed, self-directed learning takes place in 33%. Nineteen per cent of the enterprises surveyed stated that their employees could participate in learning circles and/or quality circles, 14% offer job rotation and/or exchange programmes as well.
In addition to traditional continuing vocational training courses, enterprises offer 'other' forms of learning - in particular information courses and instruction - as well. An analysis of the data from the supplementary national surveys to CVTS1 and CVTS2 reveal that, from the company's point of view, the boundaries between intentionally organised training measures in the workplace and the use of organisational measures as a training instrument are fluid and that 'other' forms of continuing vocational training range from being work to being learning. This is also confirmed by the supplementary national survey to CVTS3.
As in previous CVTS supplementary national surveys, this supplementary survey to CVTS3 also asked enterprises whether the 'other' forms of continuing vocational training 'fall more under learning' or 'fall more under work'. Eighty-two per cent of the enterprises that offer self-directed learning say that this form of learning tends to fall under the heading 'learning'. This figure is 62% for information courses, 56% for job rotation and/or exchange programmes and 63% for learning circles and/or quality circles. By contrast, instruction and/or induction training tends to be classified under the heading 'work' (65%) by the enterprises that offer this form of training (GRÜNEWALD, MORAAL 1996; GRÜNEWALD, MORAAL, SCHÖNFELD 2003).
Which types of competence are important?
As the CVTS3 survey shows, there was a marked shift in the content of training courses between 1999 and 2005. The share of hours spent attending continuing vocational training in the area 'EDP, computer science and computer use' out of the total number of hours spent attending continuing vocational training fell from 21% in 1999 to 14% in 2005. By contrast, the percentage of hours spent on CVT in the area of 'personal development, quality management, work techniques, cooperation training and negotiation skills, working life' - in other words, the domain of so-called soft skills - rose from 9% in 1999 to 16% in 2005. Based on this, the importance of soft skills has nearly doubled in recent years (FEDERAL STATISTICAL OFFICE 2008).
Since the findings from the CVTS3 survey confirm the growing importance of these soft skills, the supplementary national survey examined the individual forms of learning in light of the competence concept. The survey drew on the competence concept (i.e. the concept of teaching different types of competence) that is predominant in the vocational training field and revolves around four types of competence: technical competence, methodological competence, social competence and personal competence (LORIG, SCHREIBER 2007; HENSGE, LORIG, SCHREIBER 2008). All enterprises were asked how important they considered these four types of competence to be at present and how important they felt they would be in the future (scale from 'not at all' to 'very important').(02)
Seventy-seven per cent of the enterprises said that technical competence is currently particularly important. This figure is 30% for social competence, 20% for personal competence and 13% for methodological competence. Looking to the future they reckon with an increase in the importance of transversal competence (personal, methodological and social competence). They expect that technical competence will remain as important as it is today.
A comparison by company size reveals no major differences in how enterprises view the current and future importance of these four types of competence.
Interestingly however, 42% of enterprises with 10 to 19 employees consider methodological competence to be very important at present, while only 26% feel it will be very important in the future. By contrast, 17% of enterprises with 20 to 49 employees stated that methodological competence is currently very important (an average share), whereas 37% (a larger than average share) said it would be very important in the future.
A breakdown of these findings by manufacturing sector and service sector reveals that the enterprises in the manufacturing sector consider social competence and personal competence to be on the decline; an even larger drop in importance was registered for methodological competence (from 51% to 31%). On the other hand, the importance of technical competence increased slightly. By contrast, transversal competences will be more important in the future according to the respondents in the service sector. The increase in importance that the service sector expects for methodological competence was particularly striking, namely from 47% to 70%. The differences in the assessment of the individual types of competence - and methodological competence in particular - are to be examined in greater depth at a later date.
The CVTS3 supplementary survey asked enterprises to assess the forms of learning they used with regard to fostering technical, methodological, social and personal competence. The findings paint a nuanced picture: According to the enterprises surveyed, all forms of learning foster more than just technical competence to a very high degree. Some forms of learning specifically support the (continued) development of transversal competences as well.
Sixty-one per cent of the enterprises surveyed which offer internal training courses are of the opinion that this form of learning fosters technical competence to a very high degree. This figure is 18% with regard to personal competence, 16% for methodological competence and 27% for social competence (Chart 2).
According to the enterprises surveyed, external training courses foster primarily technical competence (54%). By contrast, the survey findings indicate that this form of learning fosters methodological competence (13%), personal competence (4%) and social competence (5%) less.
According to the enterprises offering 'instruction and/or induction training', this form of learning also predominately fosters technical competence (53%). However, this form of continuing vocational training in the workplace particularly develops employees' methodological competence (even further) as well (21%).
Enterprises feel that the focus of information courses is also on fostering technical competence (39%). However, the enterprises surveyed additionally said that this form of learning also supports the acquisition of personal competence and social competence to a very high degree (9% and 10% respectively) (Chart 3).
Fifty-four per cent of the enterprises surveyed that use job rotation are of the opinion that this form of learning fosters technical competence to a particularly high degree; thirty-six per cent credit it with having a strong positive influence on social competence.
In the opinion of 13% of the enterprises surveyed that deploy learning circles and/or quality circles, this form of learning teaches personal competence to a very high degree; this figure is 14% for social competence and 28% for methodological competence. Compared to other forms of learning, technical competence is not acquired to as great a degree in 'learning circles and/or quality circles': Thirty-five per cent of the enterprises offering this form of learning say that it fosters technical competence to a very high degree; this figure is 61% for internal training courses (see Chart 4).
Self-directed learning fosters technical competence to a "very high degree" according to 38% of the enterprises surveyed which offer this form of learning. By contrast, it scarcely fosters social competence. Given that self-directed learning is usually done on one's own this is not surprising.
It turns out that personal competence is fostered to the greatest degree by 'internal training courses' in the opinion of the enterprises surveyed that offer internal training courses - and social competence is fostered most by 'job rotation and/or exchange programmes'. According to enterprises that provide 'learning circles and/or quality circles' this form of learning supports the acquisition of methodological competence the most, whereas internal training courses foster technical competence more than any other form of learning.
Asked whether participation in the different forms of learning should be documented according to learning outcome, confirmed or not recorded at all, the enterprises surveyed provided very heterogeneous answers: Seventy-five per cent of those enterprises that provide learning circles and/or quality circles advocated documenting the learning outcome. And enterprises offering 'job rotation and/or exchange programmes' or 'external training courses' also said that learning outcomes should be documented (56% and 57% respectively). Forty-seven per cent of the surveyed enterprises that offer information courses feel that a certificate of attendance would be sufficient whereas 27% were against issuing certificates of attendance or documenting learning outcomes (see Table 5).
Except in the case of information courses and self-directed learning, the majority of enterprises using the respective form of learning was in favour of documenting learning outcomes. This clearly illustrates the importance enterprises attach to documenting learning outcomes.
Participation levels among semi-skilled and unskilled employees
The CVTS3 survey asked enterprises about the different forms of learning they offered and the number of participants taking part in the respective continuing training activity. This information can now be analyzed, broken down by employee group (unskilled and semi-skilled workers, skilled workers, lower and mid-level management personnel and upper-level management personnel) in the CVTS3 supplementary national survey.
Twenty-nine per cent of the enterprises surveyed indicated that they employ unskilled and semi-skilled workers. These workers frequently participate in all forms of learning but to a much smaller degree than all other employee groups. For example, skilled workers in 44% of the enterprises surveyed, lower and mid-level management staff in 55% of the enterprises surveyed and upper level management staff in 52% of the enterprises surveyed regularly undergo training in external training courses. By contrast, in only 19% of the enterprises did unskilled and semi-skilled workers attend external training courses. Sixty-five per cent of the enterprises surveyed said that their skilled workers attended internal training courses on a regular basis. This figure was just under 60% for instruction and/or induction training and 44% for external training courses and self-directed learning. Twenty-six per cent of the enterprises surveyed said that their skilled workers regularly continued their training by participating in job rotations and/or exchange programmes. The enterprises surveyed reported that higher-level management staff most frequently attended internal training courses (54%) and external training courses (52%) on a regular basis (see Chart 5).
A number of instruments are used to assist unskilled and semi-skilled workers when undergoing continuing vocational training. All of them are used extensively. Release from work (84%) and financial assistance (81%) are particularly important (see Table 6).
Forty-five per cent of the enterprises surveyed said that they conducted special continuing training measures for their unskilled and semi-skilled employees. This type of special continuing vocational training measure for unskilled and semi-skilled employees was supported by a government-funded continuing training programme in 22% of the enterprises surveyed; this was particularly the case for firms with 50 to 499 employees (67%).
Asked whether individual employees who had not completed formal vocational training have since done so in their company, 27% of the enterprises surveyed said, "yes". Large firms with more than 500 employees comprised 53% of this group. Broken down by sector, financial intermediation tops the list with 41%.
Assistance for older employees
In most EU Member States, changes in age structures will go hand-in-hand with a decline in population size. In Germany, this development will already set in beginning the year 2010. The composition of the potential work force by age cohort will also change radically. As a result, the share of the middle age cohort of 35-to-54-year-olds will shrink while the share of 55-to-64-year-olds will grow noticeably. The increase in the potential workforce in this latter age cohort in Germany will be among the most significant in Europe. The effects arising from this trend will impact first and foremost those people who are between 30 and 50 years of age today. If they are to be able to cope with the effects of this demographic trend, it is necessary to start preparing them now for the challenges it will bring - by stepping up continuing training measures, for instance (EUROSTAT 2005; MORAAL 2007; BELLMANN, LEBER 2008). The findings from the CVTS3 survey show for the first time that rates of participation in continuing vocational training courses among employees who are 55 or older vary greatly in Europe. Looking at Europe, data is available from 26 countries: On average, one out of every four older employees attended continuing training courses. Germany and Austria share 16th place in the rankings with a participation rate of 21%, trailing most countries in Northern and Western Europe (BANNWITZ 2008).
A majority of 64% of the enterprises which provide continuing vocational training and were surveyed in the supplementary national survey agreed with the statement that the fall in the size of the labour supply that will start in 2010 could cause problems for them in the future. Problems are particularly expected by larger enterprises with more than 500 employees (74%). Only 55% of small firms with 10 to 19 employees anticipate problems. A particularly large share of enterprises in the skilled trades (54%) does not expect any difficulties in the wake of the decline in the labour supply. Another breakdown shows that especially enterprises in the sectors 'transport, storage and communication' (75%), 'construction' (74%) and 'real estate, renting and business activities' (71%) expect problems. By contrast, a markedly smaller share (23%) of enterprises in the 'other community, social and personal service activities' sector expected problems.
Eighty-one per cent of those enterprises that provide continuing vocational training employed older employees during the period 2005 to 2007. The share of older employees grows steadily in tandem with company size. Older workers are particularly employed by banks/insurance companies (93%) and manufacturing enterprises (89%). At 44%, the share of firms in the skilled trades that employ older workers is significantly smaller.
Twenty-five per cent of the enterprises which had older employees who had "left prematurely" during the last three years (2005-2007) prior reaching retirement age indicated that these employees had personal reasons for leaving; seven per cent cited operational reasons and 8% reported both. Only relatively few (17%) enterprises that provide continuing vocational training will see larger numbers of older employees retire early in the next three years (2009-2011). Early retirement will occur more in larger enterprises than in small firms in the future. Twice as many enterprises in the 'financial intermediation' sector than in the 'wholesale and retail trade' and 'manufacturing' sectors will see employees retire in the next three years.
Enterprises that provide continuing vocational training were also asked how they assessed their chances of compensating for the premature retirement of older employees by hiring younger workers. Thirty-five per cent of these enterprises view their chances of this as 'poor' and 30% as 'good'. Medium-size and large enterprises in particular judged their chances positively. Firms in the 'financial intermediation' sector were especially negative in their assessment. By contrast, at nearly 80% the skilled trades viewed their chances positively. One reason that 49% of enterprises which provide continuing vocational training cited for not being able to compensate for the premature retirement of older employees by hiring younger workers is that these individuals' qualifications and skills are not a precise fit for their company. Thirty-four per cent say that the labour supply is not sufficient.
Personnel development and organisation development at 67% of the enterprises that provide continuing vocational training take the age structure of the company's workforce into consideration. Sixty-eight per cent of the enterprises that provide continuing vocational training see the proportion of young employees to older employees in their individual company as currently being well-balanced.
A comparison of how important individual competences are for an enterprise in general with the strengths of older employees shows that older employees are particularly seen to have a greater degree of methodological competence and social competence. Little difference exists in the areas of personal competence and technical competence according to enterprises that provide continuing vocational training. Older employees' strengths and experience are put to use for other employees in 85% of the enterprises that provide continuing vocational training (see Table 7).
Only 31% of enterprises that provide continuing vocational training use 'measures' to bind older employees to them over the longer term. However 35% say they will use such measures in the future. The most important measures used by the enterprises surveyed that provide continuing vocational training are special measures in the areas of job structuring and flexible working arrangements (73%). Enterprises will use these measures less in future (65%). Forty-eight per cent said they use targeted health promotion measures for their workforces: Such measures will however be used much more in the future (65%). Ageing-oriented personal development / continuing training measures are the third most frequently used type of measure (37%). These will gain in importance in the future (42%). Enterprises will also use a transgenerational corporate culture (currently 23% and 31% in the future) and ageing-oriented personnel policies (currently 19% and 32% in the future) more frequently in the future (see Table 8).
Fifty-six per cent of the enterprises that provide continuing vocational training are of the opinion that continuing vocational training could reduce the negative effects of the anticipated decline in the labour supply. Enterprises that provide continuing vocational training support their older employees who undergo continuing training by providing them financial assistance (90%), releasing them from work (89%), offering flexible working hours (80%) and providing access to company resources (74%). This shows that enterprises offer these assistance measures to an almost equal degree (see Table 9).
Only 7% of enterprises that provide continuing vocational training conduct special continuing training measures for older employees. Fifty-six per cent are aware of government funding programmes (such as 50Plus, WeGebAU). A total of 35% feel that special continuing training measures for older employees are a good idea.
Most of the enterprises interviewed in the supplementary national survey which provide continuing vocational training are to be considered active in the provision of training: They offer not only continuing vocational training but also a variety of vocational qualification pathways. Their focus is on the provision of initial and further vocational training under the Vocational Training Act and the Crafts and Trade Code
All enterprises said that they assist their employees in connection with continuing vocational training. This assistance consists of material measures (financial assistance and access to company resources) and non-material measures (release from work and the possibility of flexible working hours).
A key political demand being raised is to increase the linkage between initial and continuing vocational training in enterprises in order to foster permeability in the education system for the purpose of lifelong learning. The findings clearly show that initial vocational training and continuing vocational training are closely linked in only 12% of the enterprises surveyed which provide continuing vocational training. The surveyed persons who are responsible for continuing vocational training in their firm are aware that close linkage will be more important in the future.
Continuing vocational training consists of a mix of different forms of learning. 'Other' forms of job-related learning are playing an increasingly important role, alongside traditional internal and external training courses. However these 'other' forms cannot be unequivocally classified as learning in enterprises.
The findings from the CVTS3 survey show that soft skills - transversal competences - are becoming increasingly important in Germany. The supplementary national survey linked for the first time the individual forms of learning with the concept of teaching competence. The enterprises surveyed were asked to assess the forms of learning that they use in terms of the different types of competence: technical competence, methodological competence, social competence and personal competence. The results reveal a very nuanced picture: In the opinion of the enterprises surveyed not only do all forms of learning foster technical competence to a very high degree, some forms of learning specifically support the (continued) development of transversal competences as well.
A clear majority of enterprises agreed with the statement that the decline in Germany's supply of labour that is forecast to set in starting in 2010 could lead to problems for their company. There is substantial difference in how the pressure from this problem is viewed in the individual branch of economic activity. A majority of enterprises view their chances of compensating for the premature retirement of older employees by hiring younger workers as poor, primarily because the skills and qualifications of younger hirees do not precisely fit the individual enterprise's needs. The strengths and experience of older employees are put to use for younger employees in 85% of the enterprises surveyed. The methodological competence and social competence of older employees are particularly valued in this connection. Measures aimed at maintaining the individual's employability and internal measures are used to keep older employees on a longer-term basis. The role played by age-appropriate training for older employees is considerably smaller. This will also be the case in the future.
Further analyses of the data from the CVTS3 survey and the supplementary national survey will be conducted this year, particularly with regard to the subjects of the linking of initial and continuing vocational training, in-company learning and competences.
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Imprint BIBB REPORT