The opening of the social shears and shortage of specialized personnel show: Germany must finally start recognizing and making use of informally and non-formally acquired skills. Especially for people without a formal professional or higher education degree. Based on studies and practical examples, foreign and domestic, we illustrate how this might work.
People do not learn in a targeted manner and in formal contexts, but every day at the workplace, in the family or in their free time. However, these informally acquired competences are not institutionally recognized in Germany yet; neither by the educational and vocational training system nor by companies. This is very different in other European countries, especially in Northern Europe. Here, the systems for recognizing informal learning (CEDEFOP 2009) already defined in 2009 in the European Qualification Framework (EQF) are receiving much broader cultural and institutional attention.
Which recognition systems for informal and non-formal learning already exist in Germany?
How can these recognition systems be designed so persons with low levels of formal qualification in particular benefit from them?
Which best-practice forms of competence recognition from other European countries can be applied to Germany?
With a reference to the shortage of specialists and the demographic transformation, the demand for more recognition of informally and non-formally acquired skills by the vocational education institutions is only heard when it directly pertains to the ability of companies to remain competitive. For example when it comes to skills determination processes for highly qualified persons or to branches (e.g. cleaning branch) where clear professional profiles are lacking.
We therefore research the educational policy opportunities for persons with low levels of formal qualification and examine what we can learn from other countries with less formal education systems. And, last but not least, in order to increase the transparency and permeability of the German education system.