Junior research group launched at Paderborn University for innovation and transfer processes in vocational training
Digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change are all having an impact on the labour market. This is also presenting a variety of challenges for vocational training, which needs to meet new requirements in order to remain future-proof. A new junior research group at Paderborn University is researching how this can be achieved: scholars at the Department of Business and Human Research Education are tackling the question of how to shape innovation processes for vocational training and enable their transfer into a wider context. The Paderborn researchers are seeking to determine the changing requirements resulting from digital transformation and to develop skills profiles for teaching staff. This project, entitled “innovation and transfer processes in vocational training” (ITiB), has been awarded approximately 700,000 euros of funding over four years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Under the project, the researchers are supporting a total of 17 pilot projects that have been developing new qualification opportunities for vocational training since 2020 as part of the BMBF contest “shaping the future – innovations for excellent vocational training” (InnoVET).
Increasing the attractiveness, quality and equality of vocational training
“Vocational training in Germany has always played a major role in overall social integration, further development and social inclusion. It is also fundamentally important in the context of current transformation processes such as digitalisation, as it provides skilled professionals with key digital skills, for example”, explains Dr. Desiree Daniel-Söltenfuß from the Chair of Business and Social Education. She is running the junior research group in conjunction with Dr. Marie-Ann Kückmann from the Chair of Business and Vocational Education. “Their ongoing pursuit of digitalisation innovation means that it is professional stakeholders who will be shaping the working world of the future”, Kückmann notes.
For this project, the researchers will be examining new qualification opportunities for vocational training, developed across a variety of pilot projects funded by the BMBF. “The aim of our research is to identify the potential for innovation that these projects offer and draw on in-depth insights into complex processes to enable its transfer into the wider context of the vocational training landscape”, Kückmann explains. Daniel-Söltenfuß adds: “This means that alongside the acquisition of knowledge, shaping transfer processes forms a hugely important part of our research. The aim is for findings, concepts and prototype developments from pilot projects to be made accessible to vocational training as a whole.”
The ITiB project is jointly supported by the Department of Business and Human Research Education and draws on research and development projects being conducted by individual Chairs. “Securing ITiB is a fantastic success and confirms our research orientation. Our department has a long tradition of collaboration, and is now also gaining a formal structure for junior academics with the creation of the junior research group”, in the delighted words of Professor H.-Hugo Kremer, Professor of Business and Vocational Education, specialising in media didactics and continuing education. He is supporting the joint research group alongside his colleagues Professor Marc Beutner, Professor of Business Education and Evaluation Research, Professor Tobias Jenert, Professor of University Didactics and Education, and Professor Peter F. E. Sloane, Professor of Business and Social Education.