The contact seminars take place every two years to discuss current topics and challenges for the further development of the partner countries' vocational education and training systems.
Cooperation between the German-speaking VET institutes of Germany, Austria and Switzerland has a long tradition. Although there are differences with regard to individual characteristics, what the three systems have in common is a shared conviction that company-integrated dual vocational education and training is of high significance.
Alongside BIBB and the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET), the Austrian Institute for Training Research in Trade and Industry (ibw) and the Austrian Institute for Research on Vocational Training (öibf) are also involved in these cooperation arrangements.
Representatives from the three institutes usually meet every two years on a rotating basis in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for a contact seminar at which specialist networking takes place. The topics covered at such seminars are vocational education and training and training in the German-speaking countries of Europe. The institutes present their latest research results and discuss the current development of VET in their countries.
Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” Professor Cornelia Oertle used this quotation in the opening remarks she delivered as host of the 2018 Contact seminar of German speaking vocational education and training research institutions, which was held at the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET).
In March 2016 the contact seminar was held in Vienna.
In June 2014, researchers met for a contact seminar in Bonn. They discussed questions on labour market integration and internationalisation and presented their experiences in the field of permeability, validation and recognition of formally and informally acquired competencies as well as professional qualifications acquired abroad.
The main thematic focus of the contact seminar held in Zollikofen in Switzerland in June 2011 was “policy advice”.