Press release

Successful model: Advanced training for the occupation Metal-Working Foreman proves itself in practice

47/2011 | Bonn, 19.10.2011

Advanced training for the occupation "Geprüfte/-r Industriemeister/-in Metall" (Certified Metal-Working Foreman) achieves its objectives in terms of its level of acceptance, suitability and effects: An evaluation conducted on behalf of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) shows that this training is widely accepted by all parties involved. It has been offered with a task-oriented approach since 1999. A total of 51,642 persons took it upon themselves to undergo advanced training and sit the final examination for the master-craftsman-level occupation Certified Metal-Working Foreman between the years 1999 and 2009. Out of these candidates, 41,351 ? 80.1% ? passed their final exam. Certified metal-working foremen have good occupational prospects. The findings from the study show that many make the transition from skilled labour to management positions and that enterprises in the metal-working sector have continual demand for workers with this type of qualification.

Prior to 1999, the training for certified metal-working foremen was organized by subject. Since 1999 however, the focus has shifted to training and final examinations that are practice-related, activity-oriented and geared to real tasks that arise in real companies. Back then, this was a new approach to training. The evaluation has now confirmed the suitability of this method. It also confirms that the skills and competences acquired during this training satisfy operational requirements. In addition, the evaluation does not see holders of a bachelor's degree from a university to be competition for certified metal-working foremen.

Nearly two-thirds of the certified metal-working foremen surveyed had advanced to a higher position in an industrial enterprise due to their master-craftsman training; others continue to be highly-qualified skilled workers but often have taken on a more interesting job since earning certification as a master-craftsman-level metal-working foreman. A total of 61% report that they have benefited financially from their advanced training. Only a minority (16%) had changed employers, even though 53% said they had better chances on the labour market due to their advanced training. Germany has approximately 109,000 certified metal-working foremen (as of 2009; women constitute 6.6% of this figure). Most of them work in the automotive industry or for its suppliers, followed by enterprises in the mechanical engineering and plant manufacturing sector and companies in the metal-processing and metal-working sector.

In addition to its broad endorsement of the current advanced training examination for this occupation, the BIBB evaluation also reveals a need for action. Its recommendations include stepping up the systematic development of management competences and skills and strengthening equivalent alternative paths for skilled workers who are willing to improve themselves by, for example, earning technical specialization or assuming responsibility for project-like tasks (such as in connection with investments in technology and equipment).

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) conducted the evaluation on BIBB's behalf. A total of 5,000 individuals who had earned qualification as a certified metal-working foreman in various years and their superiors were surveyed for the study. The data collected for the evaluation was supplemented by ten qualitative company case studies.
A summary of the results of the evaluation is available in German at www.bibb.de/evaluation-industriemeister.
Photos can be accessed at www.bibb.de/pressefotos.

Points of contact at BIBB:

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