Berlin Learning Log – Monday 12 January 2015

Learning Log
Name: Carolyn King
Date: Monday 12 January 2015
Organisation: South Eastern Regional College – Northern Ireland

1. Activity description (Summary of what was done that day)
Visit to OSZ IMT Campus
• Welcome by Matthias Dobler, met teachers Mr Henze, Mr Hebel, Me Schubert and Mr Hafezi
• Introduction to Vocational Training at OSZ IMT
• Visit to classroom – dual training first year students
• Discussion on the expectations of the study visit.

2. What did I learn from this activity? What insights did this new knowledge give to me in relation to school/organisation, learner and employer?
OSZ IMT – Haarlemer Strasse 23-27, 12359 Berlin
• 3700 Students (1600 VET Students) – 18 to 25 year olds
• 180 teaching staff
• Annual budget €220,000
• One of 22 colleges in Berlin specializing in vocational areas
• No part time courses
• Teaching levels 3 to 6 (majority level 4)
• Dual Training courses and full time courses offered
• One third of students drop out during the first months of the course
• A variety of extra certificates offered e.g. Microsoft and Cisco
• Specialized courses offered e.g. FSZ with a work placement abroad offers trade qualification and university entrance certificate in the 3 ½ year course (must learn Spanish)
• Worldskills winners in IT
• The college has a partnership with China
• Employability skills are not taught in the college they are embedded into each day at college.
• Germany has a lower rate of young people unemployed
• University education is free – students must have a University Entrance Qualification:
This process is not portrayed as good practice for recognizing trade and academic qualifications to enter university, especially if the student has been out of education for a number of year
• German companies invest over €30 billion in training students – small companies can group together to offer training

Dual Training
In Germany going to university is not considered a priority because vocational training is of such a high standard, well organized and funded and not considered mainly for students with less ability. Greater significance is placed on Dual Training courses.

Companies are involved in curriculum design. The Chamber of Commerce is involved in setting exams for Dual Training students, subject areas such as IT will also have an industry and college representative.

Dual students find their own placements with companies who then register with the Chamber of Commerce who inform the college of students who will be attending.

Full Time Students
• The full time course is three years long
• Exams are set by the college only not the Chamber of Commerce.
• Full time students complete a 8 weeks placement in their final year
• No partnership agreement between the college and company – there is an agreement between the state of Berlin and all companies covering the students on placement which is part of the course
• In Germany, full time courses are not considered as good or as beneficial to the students as Dual Training courses – they are considered a successful progression route into Higher Education.

3. How did I feel about what was presented to me? What did I find innovative?
What did I find difficult or challenging to do or understand and why?

• Impressed by the role of companies and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce
• Company investment in students
• Vocational training considered more highly than university education
• One third of students drop out at beginning of course? Reasons behind this?

Dual students must complete a written exam, a project in the company and a presentation to pass the course.

Is it not just the teaching staff who provide feedback on students’ progress, the students will also provide feedback on the teaching staff e.g. teaching ability, knowledge of subject area etc.

Students in secondary skills are greater prepared for employment – work ethic, employability skills, soft skills.

Similarities to SERC placements

4. What is working well and could be applied in my organisation and why? How would you go about doing this?

With a third of student dropping out of the course the college has looked at the reasons for this. They discovered that secondary teachers were not teaching employability skills so students coming straight from school to college and companies were not aware of the requirements etc. Now the college works in collaboration with school teachers to enhance their knowledge of vocational training course and the expectations of the college and companies.

5. What definitely would not work in my organisation and why?

Getting the companies on board as they are in Germany would be particular difficult because it has never been seen in this way.
NI Chamber of Commerce involvement?

6. Any additional comments

Questions raised for project:
When the best time to go on placement so the student has something to offer the employer, is competent?
Placement mode of attendance and length of time?

Company supervisor – training – guidelines to do role –picking the right person for the job! – Guidance from college?

How much time are the employers prepared to offer for assessments?

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