Qualifying Trainees for the Digital Transformation: the Design of Industrial Processes and Products as a Subject Area of Vocational Training
- 01.10.2017 to 29.02.2020
- Research Area:
- Education, Training and Apprenticeship Concepts for Technical Domains in Craft and Industry
The ADiTPro² project developed, implemented and evaluated a qualification concept for instructors and training specialists in industrial-technical occupations on the design of industrial processes and products as a subject area of vocational training. The aim was to give training staff the skills they need for future-oriented training in the wake of the digital transformation.
In the context of the digital transformation, a decisive factor for the economic success of SMEs in the manufacturing sector lies in the design of effective and efficient production processes. As a result, production organization tasks, such as the design and optimization of manufacturing processes, are also becoming more important for skilled workers at different levels of qualification. Prospective skilled workers should already be prepared for these new requirements as part of their initial vocational training.
The aim of the ADiTPro² project was to prepare the training staff for the digital transformation, which affects the working environment and the demands placed on skilled workers. In the course of the project, trainers were supposed to learn to know, understand, document and help shape the production and product development processes of their own company. Another key component was to enable trainers to develop new training concepts that take these production processes into account and to implement them with the help of new digital media.
While a number of recent studies have examined the changed requirements for skilled production workers and derived implications for occupational profiles and organizational resources (e.g. Windelband in 2016 for the metal and electrical industry), no studies were available at the time this project was launched that examined the consequences of Industry 4.0 for the profile of training personnel in industrial-technical vocational education and training. The first thing that needed to be done was to develop a concept for a needs analysis in two areas. On the one hand, the focus was to be on the demands placed on skilled workers in product and process design, and on the other hand, the demands placed on training concepts as well as training personnel. In the first step, the changed requirements for in-company training personnel were systematized by taking into account the changes to the ordinance for industrial metalworking and electrical occupations. An explorative, empirical procedure was then carried out in the participating companies to examine the extent to which these results are related to those of the first step of the analysis. The results of the surveys were divided into two areas: "Content-related requirements of the digital transformation for in-company training personnel" and "Organizational requirements of the target group of in-company trainers".
Based on this analysis, a further training concept was developed in 2018, which was intended to meet the needs of the trainers in their different framework conditions through a modularized workshop format. Based on the findings of the needs analysis, the skills and content for the training as well as the format and methodological implementation were determined as part of the concept. In addition to the results of the requirements analysis, relevant didactic theories on curriculum design and teaching and learning processes as well as findings and methods from adult education were used.
In line with the needs and areas of interest that emerged from the requirements analysis, the following four workshops from the designed qualification concept were implemented between mid-2018 and mid-2019:
- Workshop 1: Digital transformation and its impact on skilled labor
- Workshop 2: Process management for skilled workers
- Workshop 3: Process oriented education with tutorials
- Workshop 4: Digital media in daily educational practice
Participants were primarily trainers and training specialists from the participating partner companies, but participation was also open to employees and interested parties from RWTH Aachen University and other institutions. 10 (WS1), 16 (WS2), 11 (WS3) and 12 (WS4) trainers and training specialists were involved in the development and implementation of the workshops.
The results of the overall evaluations of all workshops showed that the participants in Workshop 2 emphasized the particularly high level of practical relevance, whereas in Workshop 1 the content was rated particularly positively. According to the evaluation results, Workshop 3 was characterized by a high proportion of independent work and fewer input phases. The more detailed evaluation of Workshop 4 revealed a generally very positive view on the part of the participants: on a scale of 1 (corresponds to no agreement) to 7 (corresponds to full agreement), an average of well over 5 points was awarded. The benefits for the profession were seen as particularly positive and the fact that the workshop was recommended to colleagues clearly spoke in favor of a continuation of these workshops.
A central goal of the workshops was a successful transfer, meaning that the participants should maintain, generalize and successfully apply the contents. This aspect was measured by the adapted evaluation concept in workshop 4. The survey for Workshop 4, three months after the end of the workshop, showed that what had been learned was transferred to new situations, but that there were some problems in the direct application of the content. Domain-specific operational skills in relation to digital media (e.g., initiative, self-confidence, professional foundation, conviction) was significantly strengthened. The knowledge progression regarding the media presented in the 4th workshop also showed a growth in skills as a result of the workshop, that was still present three months after the workshop. In terms of the digital media presented, there were different starting levels. Accordingly, the greatest growth was seen in those with the lowest initial values.
Evaluation results showed skill growth in all skill areas addressed by the workshop and maintenance of those skills three months after the end of the workshop. While the developed skills were transferred to new situations, the results showed lower proficiency in direct application of the workshop content. Domain-specific operational skills related to digital media (e.g., initiative, self-confidence, professional grounding, conviction) were significantly strengthened.
|Jacobi Autoteile GmbH|
|Gemeinschaftslehrwerkstatt der Industrie von Velbert und Umgebung e.V. (GLW)|
|Starrag Technology GmbH|
|Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen|
|Gesellschaft für innovative Beschäftigungsförderung mbH|
|Die Regionalagenturen in NRW|