What is future learning about?


Lifelong learning almost sounds like learning happens alongside real life. It's not like that, of course.

Lifelong learning - that in turn sounds like lifelong. Anyway, the different terms make one thing clear:

Learning is the key to shaping life chances. In other words: lifelong learning becomes worthwhile leisure time fun!

The era of the life professions is drawing to a close. This is a challenge for the labor market, but also for the employees' personal responsibility.

At the Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Lisbon conferences, the consequences of this development were summarized in the guidelines for a European employment strategy. Why is? It's about the

  • Maintaining and increasing employability, especially through lifelong learning;
  • Improving adaptability through flexible work organization and working hours;
  • Strengthening entrepreneurial skills and capacities wherever possible; and it's about that
  • Promotion of equal opportunities.

The profound changes in the world of work therefore require all people to constantly adapt their qualifications. It is to be expected that the education market will expand considerably. The education system must adapt to enable lifelong learning for all population groups. Just as all sections of the population should participate, so must all relevant actors make their contribution.

The Federal Employment Agency has therefore launched a pilot program for “lifelong learning” together with the federal states. The aim is, among other things, to further develop the labor market policy instruments with regard to the need for qualifications and further training. This also includes considerations as to how job rotation can be used as a qualification tool. I am convinced that we should also use the positive experience of the Scandinavian countries with this instrument.

The experience from the completed ADAPT projects (Association Job Rotation - Association for the Promotion of Lifelong Learning and the National Support Agency ADAPT of the Federal Employment Agency) and from the state programs in North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin allow conclusions to be drawn about such obstacles can be reduced in particular in small and medium-sized companies. Companies that use job rotation have two advantages. On the one hand, their employees are always up to date, and on the other hand, they can largely compensate for the loss of work that this entails. The deputies of the "rotating staff" get their chance to bring back knowledge, skills and competencies.

In this way new job opportunities can be opened up for the unemployed and, above all, long-term unemployment can be avoided. Job rotation is therefore a useful addition to active labor market policy.

We - the red-green government coalition - will therefore shortly submit an application to the Bundestag so that job rotation is taken into account as part of a reform of the employment promotion law.

Perhaps you remember that all partners in the Alliance for Work, Training and Competitiveness spoke out in favor of job rotation. Questions about the financing of in-company training, the qualification of unskilled and semi-skilled and older employees were discussed. The use of credit from working time accounts also played a role here.

The alliance then consequently decided (June 28, 2000) that job rotation must become a regulatory instrument within SGB III. The alliance partners assume that it is fundamentally the task of

it remains to bear the costs of further training for their employees themselves. In contrast, the Federal Labor Office has to create the organizational and financial prerequisites for the qualification of the deputies.

Whatever the future society will be called - whether information, learning or knowledge society - learning is becoming an important part of every individual. Working time, free time, time to study - all of this together will trigger new discussions about the use of time and thus also about flexible working time models.

The range of working time models is becoming more and more diverse. In large companies in particular, the working time accounts have long since grown beyond the stage of a month or six months.

At Hewlett Packard, BMW AG, Siemens and others. the employees are allowed a year off. It doesn't always have to be for a trip around the world, it can also be for further training. For example, anyone who saves overtime on a working time account for over eight years can use the free time "gained" without any financial loss.

The entry into the temporary exit has become known to all of us through the sabbatical year. What has been a privilege of teachers since 1995 is increasingly affecting other professional groups as well.

In the Old Testament it says "that you tilled your field for six years", but "in the seventh year the land shall celebrate its great Sabbath to the Lord".

Even if only a few cultivate their fields in the truest sense of the word, it still remains in the figurative sense that everything will and must have its time.

The strategic fields of action for more employment in a knowledge-driven economy are the strengthening of education and training. The social performance lies in the potential of the new technologies.

In view of the current shortage of skilled workers in the field of information and communication technology, it certainly does not depend solely on whether we can recruit enough skilled workers from abroad. After all, it also depends on the qualifications of the employees.

We have a lot of catching up to do here, and a lot is well on its way.

That means we have to start at all levels in order to meet the growing need for up-to-date and individual education and training.

In small and medium-sized companies, the use of the Internet and intranets for in-company training, so-called network-based learning, is still very cautious. Among other things, this is a result of the representative study on the "Future Perspectives of Multimedia Learning in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises", which was carried out by Michel Medienforschung und Beratung (MMB) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Around a quarter of the companies surveyed with a company size of 50 to 1000 employees already use multimedia forms of learning. Computer-aided training and further education concepts are therefore more widespread than widely assumed. However, only 7 percent of the companies surveyed use network-supported learning applications. This in-company training via the Internet and intranet has so far been used almost exclusively by large companies with more than a thousand employees. The same applies to TV-based learning ("Business TV"). In addition, the focus of multimedia learning has so far still been on imparting computer know-how. Learning programs on job-specific topics are used significantly less.

Against this background, a major project to improve training and further education was started in my hometown of Aachen in the summer of 1999.

32 cooperation partners have networked as part of the lead project “Service Networks for Training and Further Education Processes” (SENEKA).

The project aims to network the actors involved in education-intensive innovation processes in companies and to set up and test adaptable service networks for training and further education processes. This is intended to make it easier for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the future to respond to their needs at short notice

and to supply them economically with information and educational services from the range available worldwide.

Current educational policy challenges such as B. the connection of learning and work, the dynamization of the job profiles as well as the need for multicultural competences are taken up in this project. New orientation aids, evaluation tools, implementation concepts and appropriately organized structures will be created for the use of internal and external knowledge potentials and, above all, for access to internationally available information. The focus of the SENEKA project is therefore the development of innovative formal and content-related interfaces between information and knowledge service providers, education managers and users.

After the systematic neglect of education and research, the new federal government has given the go-ahead for a new education offensive. Around DM 1 billion more was made available to support scientific projects (+ 13.7%), young scientists (+ 117%), medical (+ 6%) and biotechnology. This corresponds to an increase of 5.9%.

The innovation and investment policy was continued in 2000. In 2001 the funds for future investments are increased by a further DM billion.

The federal government will provide 400 million DM for the development of learning software for schools, universities and vocational training over the next five years.

Learning on the PC should become the norm in class, regardless of the subject. The learning software is urgently needed for this. This applies to schools, universities, vocational schools and companies.

The aim of the program is

  • Create added value through the use of computers in the field of teaching and learning,
  • to promote the structural change in the education sector, which is induced by globalization and information and communication technologies,
  • to stimulate the market for educational software in the Federal Republic of Germany, for which double-digit growth rates are forecast worldwide, and
  • to help maintain an independent national learning culture.

When it comes to the use of modern information and communication technology, Germany ranks in the lower third of the table among the industrialized countries, and only in the international midfield for per capita expenditure on information technology and telecommunications.Chancellor Schröder clearly pointed out this deficit in his speech at the event "Germany @ nd goes online" on February 11, 2000.

The fact is that the technical and cultural mastery of the computer has already become the entrance ticket to professional life. It has long been an indispensable new "cultural technique". That is why the next generation must be prepared for this as early as possible.

Labor market policy must not take a back seat to these activities. In the budget of the Federal Employment Agency, around DM 13 billion is "reserved" for further training funding. The employment offices then decide on site (according to Section 77 SGB III) which employees are to be promoted. The question here is always which further training is necessary in order to integrate them into the job in the event of unemployment or which further training can avert impending unemployment. So it is about what is necessary, about the success of the professional qualification and thus about further training in line with the labor market. Off-the-peg education that ignores the need is not only a waste of financial resources, it also leads to demotivation of the training participants.

Current activities in particular show that the labor administration is able to promote targeted and sought-after qualifications. In the information industry in particular, there are excellent employment opportunities with impressive integration rates that can be used through needs-based further training. The Federal Government and the Federal Employment Agency also take this development into account when promoting further training. In the IT professions alone

Federal agency increased the funding to over 40,000 participants in appropriate qualification measures.

Despite all these measures, we are only at the beginning of an emerging development on the subject of lifelong learning. The realization that at the end of the vocational training no one has "finished learning" is by no means a matter of course. Talking about it does not mean that we have become a people of inquisitive people.

There are deficits here as well as in the area of ​​further training. We set out what is necessary in our application at the beginning of 2000. What we need is easy to say. The key words will probably make sense to you immediately because you are interested in continuing education.

It goes z. B. to

  • Transparency in the training market,
  • improved advice,
  • generally recognized quality standards,
  • human and material resources,
  • new forms of learning,
  • suitable financing instruments and of course also around
  • easier access to further training offers for all sections of the population.

I am confident that we will reform this area in such a way that we will soon catch up with social changes and then keep them.

© Friedrich Ebert Foundation | technical support | net edition fes-library | November 2001