The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg together with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Baden-Württemberg invited to this special two-day meeting, held at the working level.
Vocational education and training (VET) can often be seen as a central strategic field of action in order to innovate in the transformation towards a digital and sustainable economy. Accordingly, the focus of the meeting was on important future issues: how can vocational training be better prepared for these upcoming changes and future challenges. Here, Baden-Württemberg's presidency provided many practical examples, where changing processes are already taking place: with visits to an industrial company, vocational school, inter-company training center, and hotel and restaurant services. On the two days, particular attention was paid to the expansion of transnational networks and mobility for apprentices within the framework of Four Motors for Europe cooperation.
After the welcome by State Secretary Dr Patrick Rapp and before the visits, a first workshop unit on 26 October started in the House of Economy Baden-Württemberg, followed by a second workshop unit on 27 October. Christiane Spies from ZSL-Educational Administration of Baden-Württemberg provided some basics and highlighted operational issues of the German dual VET system. Within dual German VET system, Baden-Württemberg’s companies train according to their needs and can recruit the skilled workers of tomorrow themselves. In the following, Christiane Spies also informed about the European cooperation network of Baden-Württemberg’s vocational schools. Alina Golikova from the Baden-Württemberg Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (BWIHK), Kathrin Masha from BBQ Education and Vocational Qualification and Jannik Clauß from the Chamber of Crafts (Handwerk International Baden-Württemberg) then outlined the services of Go.for.Europe for international company-networks for internships of apprentices, consisting in the information for training companies, the information for trainees and organisational aspects relevant to further exchanges with partners from abroad.
First visit on 26 October lead the delegation to Werner-Siemens-Schule in Stuttgart-Nord as a competence center for electrical, automation and information technology. The Werner-Siemens-Schule has also integrated a so-called “Learning Factory 4.0” where apprentices are introduced to the operation of plants based on real industry standards in the face of the requirements of industry 4.0. The delegation then attended the inter-company training center of the Academy of the Chamber of Crafts of the Region of Stuttgart in Stuttgart-Weilimdorf. Inter-company vocational training centers are often regarded as the “third pillar” of Germany’s dual VET system, providing training that takes account of the latest developments in technology which presents a major challenge especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. The first day was concluded by a tourist-cultural program (Stuttgart city walk) and a dinner with the delegation and invited guests.
27 October started with a visit to Bosch company in Stuttgart-Feuerbach with its highly modern vocational training center. At Bosch, the delegation got an impression of technical, shared service and IT-services vocational training, among others. Training at Bosch is organized by the plants or sites which means that training conditions differ from location to location. Following the second workshop unit in the House of Economy Baden-Württemberg, the final visit lead the delegation to Hotel Le Méridien in Stuttgart-Center to discuss about vocational training in hotel and restaurant services with its current challenges that all Four Motors regions are facing.
After a first feedback the participants were fully satisfied with the program and returned back to their regions with new impulses and new contacts.