IO 1: Profile of Competences Required for the Working World 4.0


Although "Industry 4.0" is already a reality in some companies, the consequences of the actual development of linkage and digitalization are still vague. All studies concerning the future development of Industry 4.0 (the term includes the productive and non-productive sectors, i.e. so-called "Internet of Things" and "Internet of Services") state a fundamental change of tasks and requirements in the working world.

This leads to changing requirements for the VET training sector, too. On the basis of the existing studies regarding the changes in working world 4.0 the necessary competences for future workers as well as for their teachers in the sectors mechatronics and electronics have been identified more precisely in an empirical study with representatives from companies and VET teachers from different European countries. A comparative analysis about the needs in the different partner countries led to a synthesis of common requirements which built the basis for the development of learning modules for learners and teachers alike.

A target-performance comparison was the basis for profiling the necessary future competences and the development of a catalogue of requirements for future-oriented learning and teaching. The competence profile can help to classify existing competences of individual teachers in comparison to targeted competences for the future. They are subsumed in matrixes for VET learners and teachers and trainers.


1. Literature review by analyzing the literature focused on the competence requirements posed by the 4th industrial revolution and the responses of the VET providers to these requirements (articles, book chapters etc.). One of the outcomes of the literature review is the list of competence requirements for the VET teachers and trainers.

2. Empirical study: Qualitative research of two stages

1st stage: Executing interviews and focus groups with the representatives of selected enterprises that face the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution. There have been interviewed up to 10 companies in each project country by taking interviews from two representatives (the 1st from the engineering staff and the 2nd from the human resource department - if available). The goal of this study was to "update" and verify the list of competence requirements for the VET students and therewith indirectly for the VET teachers and trainers.

2nd stage: Interviewing representatives of the VET schools and trainers involved in apprenticeship. There have been interviewed representatives of 5-10 advanced VET schools from the selected fields/sectors per country. The goal of this study was to "update" and verify the list of competence requirements for the VET teachers and trainers


1. Competence Matrix for Teachers and Trainers

Our teaching modules are based on the 4.0-competence-requirements for VET teachers and trainers who are teaching in the field of electronics and mechatronics.

Key result of our empirical study in the field of teaching is a competence matrix which covers all digital key competences for VET teachers. Those key competences are assigned to the core working fields for teaching in the vertical axis and in the horizontal axis to digital key competence areas.

The latter complement skills and abilities for teaching by including media competences, application know-how and basic ICT know-how and skills. Of course

they differ between professions. Although we focus on the electronic and mechatronic sector our matrix can also be used for other technical professions, because the horizontal axis implies the societal, the application and the technological perspective.

On the vertical axis, we focus on the above mentioned core working fields. By analyzing the implications of the 4th industrial revolution (focus of our empirical study) to the process of the vocational education and training, there can be outlined different implications to the curriculum design, the organization of the training process, the didactics of training and the competence assessment (see 4th Industrial Revolution Report).

So the VET the 4.0 competence matrix for teaching can be the starting point to optimize the individual teaching or even be used for controlling school development processes (like conceptual media development processes in all VET institutions).

2. Competence Matrix for Students

The competence Matrix for VET students is related to changing competence requirements with a focus on electronics and mechatronics. In the vertical axis the supplementary competences for working with cyber-physical systems and process chains are specified. They are an important part of working world 4.0 in the fields focused on, but moreover they are relevant for many professions in the industrial and craft sector.

In the horizontal axis the competence change areas are listed which are oriented at concrete working processes.

The matrix is applicable to analyze existing and lacking competences and herewith to derive further learning requirements.

3. Report

The design and the results of the empirical study are presented in detail in the VET 4.0 Research Report.

Download IO 1: VET 4.0 Research Report