The BIBB has a statutory mandate to support pilot projects including their scientific supervision. These pilot projects serve to develop and test innovations in the field of vocational education and training and to prepare them for implementation. They contribute to the qualitative improvement of vocational education and training.
Pilot projects are an instrument for the development and testing of new, innovative methods by way of example, which could contribute to improving the quality of vocational education and training and could provide tools for supporting its modernisation. Pilot projects are supported by the BIBB in the field of extracurricular vocational education and training (practical pilot projects) on commission by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as per Article 90 Section 3 No. 1d BBiG (German Vocational Training Act). Practical pilot projects pursue the objective of transferring innovations and insights to the fields of practical application, research and politics.
Vocational education and training for sustainable development 2015–2019
Sustainable development requires a paradigm shift in trade and industry and within the world of work. There is a clear need for a change in attitudes and for organisational competencies and employability skills that are geared towards sustainability. Pilot projects have been instigated with the aim of developing possible solutions for this purpose. The objective is for these to act as a vehicle which will enable awareness of and responsibility for sustainable development in the world of work to inform occupational activity and professional identity, thus helping to secure both the modernisation and attractiveness of vocational education and training and a supply of skilled workers.
The main focus of funding for the pilot projects accords particular significance to the structural establishment within the VET system of the concepts to be developed. The intention is that the pilot projects should support the guiding principles behind the World Action Programme “From the Project to the Structure”. Particular importance is being attached to ensuring that transfer stakeholders and process and power promoters contribute towards putting sustainable development on a firm footing in vocational education and training.
Funding Line I
Development of training and qualification concepts for sustainability in commercial occupations
Funding Line II
Establishment of a sustainable learning venue in vocational education and training institutions
Funding Line III
Development of domain-specific sustainability competencies in food sector occupations in the craft trades and in industry
Quality development and assurance in company-based vocational education and training
Quality development and assurance is an ongoing issue in vocational education and training. This topic is currently being reinforced by the challenge of meeting the need for qualified skilled workers whilst also seeking to organise vocational education and training in an attractive way so as to enable it to compete with institutes of higher education. Last but not least, the European Union requires member states to adopt pan-European comparable standards and procedures for quality assurance at all levels of VET in order to foster establishment of the joint Education Area. Ten pilot projects have taken the specific experiences and requirements of small and medium-sized companies as a main basis for the development and trialling of strategies and concepts with the objective of integrating the demanding standards and regulations of the VET system into everyday working life. The pilot projects have particularly identified solutions in the areas of training for staff providing training, structuring of the educational process, and networking between company, school-based and regional stakeholders. At the concluding event held in Berlin, the presentation of the concepts, procedures and methods met with a considerable degree of public interest.
One of the outstanding results to emerge from the pilot programme was BIBB’s publication of a Quality Guide for Company-Based Vocational Education and Training. This provides advice on quality development and assurance in VET at companies. The outcomes of the pilot programme were also transferred into the European arena via the ENIQAB Project (Europeanisation of the National Pilot Initiative for Quality Development and Assurance in Company-Based Vocational Education and Training) and via the German National Reference Point for Quality Assurance in VET (DEQA-VET).
New pathways into dual system vocational education and training – heterogeneity as an opportunity for ensuring the skilled labour supply
The main funding focus “New pathways into dual system vocational education and training – heterogeneity as an opportunity for ensuring the skilled labour supply” has highlighted and piloted innovative routes into training. It has grasped the increasing degree of heterogeneity which young people display both as a challenge and as a chance to move forwards. The drive was to develop and implement transferable concepts, instruments and methods in order to expand the potential number of trainees and to secure the skilled worker requirements of companies. Preparations for the main funding focus were accompanied by a detailed research process with the co-involvement of experts from various areas of practice, academic research and policy making, all of whom engaged in detailed dialogue. This led to a series of tested and validated concepts for integration into the training market by disadvantaged young people. These concepts take account of the heterogeneity of trainees and thus of their different types of prior learning, and are currently being addressed within the scope of a development project which aims to identify opportunities for transfer and make these applicable to ongoing and planned measures for the integration of refugees into vocational education and training.