Division 4.4 – “Strengthening VET and the Educational Chains Initiative” – implements programmes and initiatives on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The BMBF uses the JOBSTARTER plus Programme to promote innovation and structural development in vocational education and training nationwide. Possible options as to how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular can meet current VET challenges are piloted and transferred within thematic programme areas. The range of topics addressed extends to encompass the acquisition of further target groups for vocational education and training such as higher education drop-outs, the initiation of nationwide mobility, the integration of immigrants and refugees into VET, the development and piloting of support services within the context of Training 4.0, and the funding of sectors and clusters and of regional and local government back-up structures. Implementation of these thematic areas takes place in the form of project support which is realised within the scope of annual funding announcements.
The federal competition “Shaping the future – innovations for excellent vocational education and training (InnoVET)” is being implemented via large-scale cluster projects commissioned by the BMBF. The goal of the initiative is to use new innovative and structural concepts to make vocational education and training future proof and to take account of the equivalence of dual and academic training. The project resources will help to develop attractive and outstanding training provision which is of equal value to higher educational programmes and will enjoy a strong degree of acceptance on the labour market.
The Educational Chains Service Agency is responsible for the cross-cutting evaluation research, process management, and public relations work undertaken by the initiative “No qualification without connectivity – educational chains until the completion of training” (Educational Chains Initiative), a programme run by the BMBF and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS). It supports the Federal Government, the Federal Employment Agency (BA), and the federal states in establishing coherent structures in vocational and higher education orientation and at the transition from school to work, and in securing a supply of young skilled workers for trade and industry. This includes vocational orientation instruments and measures during the school-work transition and in training. The Service Agency designs information materials and seminars for education and training practice. It acts as the office of the Federal Government-Federal State-Federal Employment Agency Support Group for the Educational Chains Initiative and as a coordinating body for the Career Choice Pass National Working Group.
The Coordination Agency for the BMBF research and transfer initiative ASCOT+ works in close conjunction with Departments 1 and 2 to assume responsibility for project support and for the public relations work carried out by the programme.
Division 4.4 also manages the ValiKom Transfer Initiative as well as implementing funding for participation in national and international competitions via the WorldSkills Initiative.