VET 4.0

Vocational Education and Training in the Working World 4.0

Project VET 4.0
Timeframe 01. Oktober 2016 - 30. September 2018
Website http://vet-4-0.eu
Project Meetings Events & Dates

The Impact of the Digital Revolution

Digital revolution, internet of things, industry 4.0 – these are keywords for the current development in the economy. Digitalization, further automatization, globalized internetworking are big challenges for the future of the working world and for vocational education and training (VET) and further education, too.

The working world is highly dynamic, especially in the high-tech oriented sectors like electronics, mechatronics etc. Digitalization, globalization and internetworking are changing and challenging all kinds of enterprises, the big ones equally to the small and medium ones – although the peculiarities may vary. In order to keep VET sustainable, it is important to adapt the training betimes and foster a broad consensus and a close cooperation between teachers, learners, VET providers, companies, social partners and chambers.

Challenges for the Working World

In Germany the keyword "Industrie 4.0" is a synonym for digitalization and interconnectedness of the whole value-added chain in industry but the changes will affect not only the development in industry but also the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including crafts, and life as a whole. Competition conditions will change just as organization structures, decision making and leadership. Business models will have to be revised, new kinds of cooperation will become necessary and production, service and marketing will change just as purchase, stocking and logistics.

Although in some industrial companies digitized and cross-linked production has started already and some services are based on multi-media, remote-control and maintenance and automatization, in many companies, especially the small and medium ones (SME), the so-called digital revolution is only at the beginning. Altogether, the changes in the whole working world will be immense and the requirements in jobs and in VET will significantly alter, too. 

Challenges for VET

In order to maintain a competitive and innovative economy, it is important that already during VET the basis is provided to face the recent development in “working world 4.0” properly. Professional tasks and required competences will change Europe-wide respectively world- wide, thus, the instruments to face it should not be national ones but European or international ones.

The challenges VET colleges face are multifold: Depending on the subjects offered, their facilities and technical equipment, some of them can already offer e.g. elements of a smart factory or IT-based services, others cannot. All in common is that the future development is rather unpredictable and that teachers, trainers, workers and VET students are challenged to learn and to acquire new competences for a new world of work. So far, this development is not yet a topic in curricula although in some companies working world 4.0 has started to be already reality. Furthermore, the majority of (VET) teachers is not aware of the dimension of change and not prepared to face the innovations. There hardly exists learning material for VET students nor does it for the further education of teachers and trainers.