02 SES 07 B, Challenges of Workplace Learning
In the recent years the amount of publications and declarations of employer’s organisations referring to “Industry 4.0“, “smart factories“, “work 4.0“, or even “vocational education and training (VET) 4.0“ increased rapidly. But most of them are on a superficial level; predicting “disruptive technologies” (Mc Kinsey 2013) or “much higher requirements for complexity, abstraction and problem-solving” (Kagermann et al., 2013, p.57) – plausible, but not very meaningful. And, even worse, such predictions are often driven rather by lobbyism than by evidence, an example was pointed out by (Pfeiffer, 2015, p.13), who mirrored studies that foresee either positive or negative effects on labour markets – depending on the author’s interests. In the same publication (ibid p. 26) she worked out 4 dimensions of industry 4. 0.:
1 social media@production, e.g. shift doodle;
2 data@production, e.g. internet of things;
3 next generation production, e.g. additive manufacturing;
4 automation@body and mind, e.g. wearables
and summarises that “[…] we hardly know anything about the empirical connections between work and technicization. And we know still less about the variety of manufacturing work that exists today” (ibid p.10).
Taking this summary for serious did we decide, together with an European consortium, to focus only on one of the dimensions of Industry 4.0, “next generation production” and also on one sector only, the “European machine tool industry” – to throw a glance behind the mask.
Project partners (details can be found at www.metalsalliance.eu) come from four European countries (Spain, Italy, Germany, and Belgium) and represent sector organisations, Vet-schools, public bodies, and VET-research centres. Our project, running from 11.2015 till 10.2018, focuses on three main research and development activities:
1.) Skills panorama: We have drawn a comprehensive picture of the variety of manufacturing work in machine tool industry and found 14 “spheres of activity”, describing holistic work-processes in the sector.
2.) Skills gap: We decided to focus on one of the 14 spheres, “additive manufacturing” and figured out the skills that are needed to work in this innovative area and that are not covered by curricula of “industry mechanics” (in DE) and comparable vocations in the other countries.
3.) Learning units: We will develop a row of units for skilled workers resp. apprentices that support acquiring skills needed in additive manufacturing workplaces. Units will be both physically and virtual available – in four languages, offering same content for learners coming from different educational backgrounds.
Project homepage: www.metalsalliance.eu Bremer et al. 2001: Experten-Facharbeiter-Workshops als Instrument der berufswissenschaftlichen Qualifikationsforschung. http://www.gab.uni-bremen.de/Monitor/C5_EXP_FA_WKS_MON.pdf Kagermann et al. 2013: Umsetzungsempfehlungen für das Zukunftsprojekt Industrie 4.0. Abschlussbericht des Arbeitskreises Industrie 4.0. Frankfurt/M.: Plattform 4.0. Mc Kinsey 2013: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/disruptive-technologies Pfeiffer 2015: Effects of Industry 4.0 on vocational education and training. http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/ita/ita-manuscript/ita_15_04.pdf Saniter et al. 2016: Guidelines on how to find, analyse, and use the learning potentials of work places. http://www.dualtrain.eu/assets/O2%20Learning%20Station%20Analysis%20[EN].pdf VDI 2015: http://www.ingenieur.de/VDI-Z/2015/Ausgabe-05/Werkzeug-und-Formenbau/Berufsbild-Verfahrensmechaniker-additive-Fertigung All internet references visited on 13.01.2017.
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