350.2 Correspondence of new work requirements with vocational training in cross-company alliances in the German metal industry

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 2:40 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Klaus SCHMIERL , Institute for Social Science Research (ISF), Munich, Germany
In recent decades, fundamental changes of societal, economical and entrepreneurial structures have taken place. Modern forms of work organization like autonomous teamwork, an intensified international and intercultural collaboration and the necessity for cooperation beyond the barriers of companies have consequences for the adaption of these new work requirements into modernized curricula within Vocational Educational Training (VET). In this perspective the presentation will deal with results of a recently finished research project on „Inter-company Learning Alliances in the German Metal and Electrical Industries”, which function as a new path to secure the supply with a highly qualified work force.

Given these changes, many enterprises consciously pursue an innovative Human Resource Management that also comprise an intensification of own initial vocational training. What is a rather new phenomenon in Germany is that this initial occupational training sometimes takes place as collaboration in vocational and further training. According to our case studies in the metal and electrical industries cross-company learning alliances can provide modern qualifications and skills which are necessary for the adaptation of new work requirements: Within these collaborative training alliances we observe an identity of modern, holistic training contents with anticipated work demands and future changes in production and work processes. By autonomous processing of production orders, the apprentices are empowered to train their ability to solve problems and to work independently. From an organizational perspective, the apprentices learn in large, heterogeneous, interdisciplinary and cross-company teams. Their methodical and social competences like the ability to work effectively in a team, project management, flexibility and the capability to self-organize are strengthened. All in all, the specific advantage of learning alliances regarding the changes in the German production and innovation model is that it obtains qualifications and competencies that are necessary to meet future requirements in working and production processes.