Requirement analysis, qualification strategy and recruitment strategy of VET teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Germany`s VET-system takes a particular position within the whole educational system and fulfills crucial functions: It supports a huge part of the young generation at the transition from the educational to the employment system as well as the economic system when it comes to meeting the demand for skilled workers. Under the umbrella of schools providing vocational education in Germany (VET schools), you can find a variety of types of schools and courses of education. Besides, there are differences between the federal states and the separate schools (Riedl & Schelten, 2013, p. 33).
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania this variety ranges from:
- vocational training at vocational schools (“Berufsschule“) in the so-called dual system with more than 140 training professions to
- full-time school-based trainings at full-time vocational schools (“Berufsfachschule“) in the so-called school-based vocational system which is almost exclusively held by trainings in social, educational and health related professions regulated at national or federal level to
- continuing full-time vocational schools providing degrees up to the higher education entrance qualification such as technical colleges (“Fachoberschule“) and vocational grammar schools (“Fachgymnasium”) to
- vocational preparation classes as a part of the so-called transition system (“Übergangssystem”). Compared to other federal states, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania the percentage of young people entering the dual training system (56% in 2013) and the school-based vocational system (28% in 2013) is above average. Nevertheless, the demographic trend of the last years has led to a considerable decrease in initial vocational training just as in other eastern German federal states. (Baethge et al., 2016, 199 ff.)
The qualification profiles of VET teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are diverse, just like in other new federal states of Germany (Bals et al., 2016). One can find teachers with a standard university degree for VET teachers or teachers e.g. for healthcare occupations, both with different professional specializations, training qualifications and general education subjects. Moreover, there are grammar school teachers with general education subjects and, last but not least, diversely qualified lateral entrants, partly with academic and partly with vocational degrees. Furthermore, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as well as in other federal states, a growing undersupply of teachers especially for VET schools is emerging. Statistics of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK 2013) show an average annual undersupply of teacher demand of 30%. In the professional specialisations of metal technology, electrical engineering and automotive engineering as well as in general education subjects such as natural sciences, foreign languages and mathematics, this shortage is especially striking.
However, based on the available data one can hardly give differentiated information and predictions taking into account both, the regionally diversely differentiated vocational education system in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the necessary diversity and high level of qualification of teachers. Regarding the problems addressed above and the insufficient data basis, an adequate determination and prediction of teacher demand as well as a subsequent recruitment and qualification strategy for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is infeasible at the moment. The project Be-Qua-Strategie 2020-MV (Vocational teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Demand and strategy of qualification development 2020), sponsored by the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, addresses this problem. The project aims at improving the communication within the relevant field of action, determining conditions of qualification and access paths of teachers, as well as developing recommendations for future monitoring and a subsequent recruitment and qualification strategy for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. To achieve these aims, it is planned to analyze and verify the available data, among others by means of qualitative and participative methods on a school level.
To satisfy the project aims described above, first of all, a preliminary study at two schools will be carried out. In this way, the available quantitative data can be analysed and verified with the responsible persons of the courses of education and the school management by means of qualitative methods. This aims at finding out about the actual demand of teachers with different qualifications and about the past and current conditions of continuing training as well as access paths. During the last two decades there was a lack of possibilities to study certain professional specialisations in study courses for VET teachers in this federal state. Due to this, many teachers of other fields have been recruited for teaching vocational content. This is why non-traditional access paths are to be expected.
After this preliminary study, the data available will be analysed and verified for all schools of the federal state, including a validation of the information with qualitative methods at each school. Furthermore, the project design includes school-specific internet based studies on the requirements of qualification and equipment as well as on recruitment strategies. Apart from that, substudies on spatial and technical resources of the schools and a feasibility study on the consideration of environmental conditions of each school, concerning implications of the educational system and the economic situation (e.g. private education providers and companies), are planned.
The results of this project initiative are supposed to be the basis for realigning the qualification and recruitment strategy of VET teachers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on the one hand. On the other, it should contribute to a demand specific offer of professional specialisations in study courses for VET school teachers at the Institute for Vocational Education (ibp) and the Chair of Business, Economics and Entrepreneurship Education at the University of Rostock, as well as at the Universities of Applied Sciences currently or prospectively involved, amongst others in Neubrandenburg. Furthermore, the study is expected to indicate where a pooling of courses of education at certain school locations is appropriate to facilitate systematic cooperation between teachers of one course of education.
The challenge lying ahead is the need to increase the appeal of study courses for VET teachers with technical specializations to an extend that the graduates can cover the demand of the schools. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as well as in other federal states, a lack of people interested in the combination of a technical professional specialisation and educational science is evident, as it requires divergent interests – realistic and social (Holland, 1997, Ziegler, Steinritz & Kayser, 2013).
Baethge, M. et al. (2016). Ländermonitor berufliche Bildung 2015. Chancengerechtigkeit und Leistungsfähigkeit im Vergleich der Bundesländer. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Bals, T.; Diettrich, A.; Eckert, M.; Kaiser, F. (2016). Diversität im Zugang zum Lehramt an beruflichen Schulen. Paderborn:Eusl.
Holland, J. L. (1997). Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments. Odessa: Psychological Assessment Resources.
KMK (2013). Lehrereinstellungsbedarf und -angebot in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Modellrechnung 2012-2025. Beschluss vom 20.06.2013. Kultusministerkonferenz: Dokumentation Nr. 201 - Juni 2013.
Riedl, A. & Schelten, A. (2013). Grundbegriffe der Pädagogik und Didaktik beruflicher Bildung. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner.
Ziegler, B., Steinritz, G. & Kayser, H. (2013). Berufswahl und Interessen – zur Kongruenz von Berufswünschen und beruflichen Interessen im Jugendalter. In G. Niedermair (ed.), Facetten berufs- und betriebspädagogischer Forschung. Grundlagen – Herausforderungen – Perspektiven (pp. 303-327). Linz: Trauner