IO 1: Profile of Competences Required for the Working World 4.0

Although "Industry 4.0" is already a reality in some companies, the consequences of the actual development of digitizing and interconnecting everything and everybody are still vague and the necessary skills and competences of working people needed in future are not yet identified clearly. All studies concerning the future development of industry 4.0 (the term includes the productive and non-productive sectors, i.e. so-called "Internet of Things" and "Internet of Services") state a fundamental change of tasks and requirements for the working people. In many areas higher qualification needs are predicted, combined with a loss of lower qualified work. Some researchers forecast a huge decrease of jobs, also of high qualified ones, others only predict a substantial change of work.

This leads to changing requirements for the VET training sector, too, but also here future requirements still have to be identified and to be described more detailed. On the basis of the existing studies regarding the changes in working world 4.0 the necessary competences for future workers as well as for their teachers will be identified with special regard to the sectors mechatronics and electronics by integrating the IT sector as engine of working world 4.0. A comparative analysis about the needs in the different partner countries will lead to a synthesis of common requirements which build the basis for the development of learning modules for teachers and learners alike.

A target-performance comparison could be the basis for profiling the necessary future competences and developing a catalogue of requirements for future-oriented teaching. The focus will be on transversal competences, i.e. those which are required in all sectors concerned by the actual development and which are additional to the existing professional competence. The competence profile can help to classify existing competences of individual teachers in comparison to targeted competences for the future. Concrete requirements in order to acquire these competences are to be found in a catalogue.


The leading partner for the elaboration of the profile of competences is the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania in close collaboration with EUGES in Cologne. All other partners will be involved by collecting the necessary data from the experts.


  1. Analyzing studies concerning the change and the challenges of working world 4.0
  2. Developing Questionnaires for an empirical Study with regard to the changes
  3. Analyzing the results
  4. Identifying necessary competences for teachers, in-company trainers and VET students to face the challenges
  5. Structure these competences and formulate a competence matrix respectively competence profiles
  6. Describe ways or possibilities how to acquire the necessary competences


1. Literature review by analyzing the literature focused on the competence requirements posed by the 4th industrial revolution and the responses of the VET providers to these requirements (articles, book chapters etc.). One of the outcomes of the literature review would be the preliminary list of competence requirements for the VET teachers and trainers.

2. Empirical study: Qualitative research of two stages

1st stage: Executing interviews and focus groups with the representatives of selected enterprises that face the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. There can be interviewed up to 10 companies in the each country by taking interviews from two representatives (the 1st from the engineering staff and the 2nd from the human resource department - if available). The goal of this study would be to "update" and verify the list of competence requirements for the VET students and therewith indirectly for the VET teachers and trainers.

2nd stage: Interviewing representatives of the VET schools and trainers involved in apprenticeship. There can be interviewed representatives of 5-10 advanced VET schools from the selected fields/sectors per country. The goal of this study would be to "update" and verify the list of competence requirements for the VET teachers and trainers.

3. Competence Matrix

Our teaching modules are based on the 4.0-competence-requirements for VET teachers and trainers who are teaching in the field of electronics and mechatronics.

Key result of our empirical study is in the field of teaching is a competence matrix which covers all digital key competences for VET teachers. Those key competences are assigned to the core working fields for teaching.

All 4.0 competences for teaching are classified on the horizontal axis in digital key competence areas and on the vertical axis in core working fields for teaching.

Education development includes all activities with focus of optimizing own lessons and the professional competences that are essential for this process. Apart from the professional competences, teaching needs to include media competences, application know-how and basic ICT know-how and skills.

Our digital key competence areas for teaching complement skills and abilities for teaching by including media competences, application know-how and basic ICT know-how and skills. Of course digital key competences differ between professions. Although we focus on the electronic and mechatronic sector our matrix can also be used for other technical professions, because the horizontal axis implies the societal, the application and the technological perspective.

On the vertical axis, we focus on the above mentioned core working fields .By analyzing the implications of the 4th industrial revolution (focus of our empirical study) to the process of the vocational education and training, there can be outlined different implications to the curriculum design, the organization of the training process, the didactics of training and the competence assessment (see 4th industrial revolution report).

So the VET the 4.0 competence matrix for teaching can be the starting point to optimize the individual teaching or even be used for controlling school development processes (like conceptual media development processes in all VET institutions).

4. Report

Our experiences with the practical use of the competence matrix for teaching are very positive. VET colleges which used the competence matrix reported that they used the matrix as an instrument for analyzing their needs concerning:

  • The didactical planning and revising of still existing didactical learning modules
  • The education development process in general
  • The further vocational training planning of their institutions and
  • The infrastructure and facility planning

Increasingly VET schools reported that they use the matrix as a suitable instrument to have an overview of “things to do” and “areas to focus on” in their institutions. They use the matrix to plan the conceptual work of all media activities and to control the challenges they need to comply in future.

VET 4.0 Research Report

VET 4_0 Research Report.pdf (787,6 KiB)