Learning Log – Thursday

Learning Log
Name: Miloš Frelih
Date: 01/15/2015, Thursday
Organisation: School Centre Kranj

1. Activity description (Summary of what was done that day)

• The IT – training at the Federal Ministries:
Deutcher Bundestag (Mrs. Sabine Kropf (IT-training coordinator)
• Chamber of Industry and Commerce Berlin (Mrs. Sandra Theede)
VET Business Partnerships, Role of Chamber of Commerce, Internships, Support of Work

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?

A visit to Deutcher Bundestag (IT -training at the Federal Ministries)
• The presentation was led by Sabine Kropf, who is an IT specialist, IT – training
coordinator, coach and an examiner for the Chamber of Commerce. Their students
prepare for the final exam. She introduced the IT training in parliament.
• In practice, they have 100 students studying 11 different professions such as:
a) Administration / Office:
– Office manager
– Designer of digital and print media
– Event Manager
b) Technique: ventilation, heating, electrical, energy, builders, gardeners, …
c) IT technicians:
– Specialist in system integration (integration specialists technician)
– Electrical equipment and systems specialist
• We spoke only of IT students. The curriculum for IT specialists is the same for the
whole of Germany. It allows a lot of freedom, how the teacher will pass competencies
on to students. Teachers want freedom. The Irish are more narrow – they have very
discreetly written tasks, so it is easier to implement them.

• The concept of training:
a) the official curriculum (prescribed by law):
Students have many opportunities to perform different tasks. 14 days, for example,
they deal with equipment in service, 14 days dealing with the network, the next
week they work in a telephone switchboard, and they also assist in the office.
Sometimes it is difficult for students because solutions to the problem are not
known in advance, it is yet to be found. Show them the way, not solutions. The
curriculum is divided over the years. If part of the curriculum (eg. Marketing) can
not be performed by their own staff, they work with clients in parliament or with
other departments (eg. The Ministry of Commerce, ..) for a limited time. They carry
out specialized courses. They learn trading by role-playing games, various fictitious
firm trades with one another… They have a joint preparation for the exams.

b) its curriculum (in parliament):
– Students become familiar with the course work in Parliament – not a part of the
final exam. They understand their work better and understand the importance
of their work.

• 1 day a week (every Tuesday) students may only speak in proper German, they may
not use slang.
• In the context of international exchanges (LDV program) they spend 2 months on an
exchange in Ireland
• Every Friday they have ‘English Friday’ when they only speak English.
• Students are initially usually very shy, so they have every week a short presentation to
show what they have learned. The presentation is also part of the final exam.
• Working in IT projects is mostly in a team, not individually.
Mr. Micha: Project work is useful for:
– Teamwork: they must work together and overcome their differences.
– Personal responsibility: the work must be completed in time.

• Document:
– Select a really existing problem
– Accepting orders
– An interview with the client
– The Road Map, material, personnel costs
– Required Software update and hardware
– Create a test environment
– Doing a presentation (to learn the skills of presentation – the intensity and pace of
speech, body language, …)
• Students in the first year of apprenticeship are involved:
– In projects such as VLAN tagging (prioritization), GPG for WIN (security)
– In courses such as commercial rates (3 months, entrepreneurship, economics) and
communication seminars.
• In the second year of the project they only participate in the LDV project (Ireland),
they learn Java, ORACLE.
• In the third year they have a lot of work to prepare for the final exam (preparation of
documentation, server monitor project …)
• International Student Exchange (LDV project, Erasmus):
Students are in exchange for 8 weeks: the focus is on communicating with people and
trust. During this time, they are more workers than students. When they come from
the exchange a personal grow up is obvious. There are big differences between
Germany and abroad.
Experience from the exchange in Ireland: First, they had to write a CV, motivation
letter, sometimes followed by a telephone conversation. Students have pleasant and
less pleasant experiences with the exchange.

• How to choose the candidates in the parliament?
– Advertising, for example in the newspaper
– Tests of IT, MAT, tests of logic
– The interview is the most important part (give them a small task to see how they
react in stressful situations.

A visit to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce – Chamber of Commerce (CoC)

The role of the Chamber of Commerce:
• advice to businesses and students (Trainees): representatives of CoC pay visits to
firms and advise. Also, students can contact them. They have 6 teams for different
• Providing learning (apprenticeship) places: they have more supply than demand
• Checking meeting criteria for companies and trainers (mentors) that provide learning
places: the company must fulfill certain conditions, if a student wants to take on
practice. Mentor must be certified. If a company can not provide conditions for the
achievement of competencies, they also have supplement companies – WBL in
several companies.
• verification and registration of contracts of learning: The learning agreement describes
the terms and conditions of payment, leave, instructor … A learning contract is
registered at CoC and the school is notified.
• The student must be in school to show the registered contract, otherwise he cannot
enroll in the school.
• organization of intermediate and final exams
• promotion of vocational education

• Targeting young people in vocational education starts at an early age:
– Kindergarten: (5-6 years), small house scientists: they want to awaken the desire for
– Primary school: girls ‘and boys’ day. Schoolchildren learn about the engineering
professions. Sometimes students come with their parents.
– Secondary school (age 16-18 years, or a little less): Days of engineering
occupations: intention is that students learn technical interdependence, get exclusive
access to behind the scenes developments in business, meet with the technology
firsthand and learn more about engineering professions.

• Verification of competences on-line: The test lasts 90 minutes and are designed for
students between 15 and 18 years of age (especially those with lower ratings). This
gives an overview of their good sides and to facilitate the decision for the future.
Funded by the Berlin economy. Try to include as many colleges as possible. Students
get easier to decide whether they are suitable for university studies. The dropout rate
at the university is 20-25%.

• Tehchnopedia: the web on-line platform for students, parents, teachers and
businesses. On it materials on experiments, teaching materials and information on co-
operation are stored. Teachers need to be active in the use of these data. The idea is
to monitor the progress of the industry.

• Partnership School:
a) this cooperation is reflected in the creation of training places for WBL

b) teachers learn what soft skills teachers need to learn better. Shall be
implemented or lectured at seminars for teachers. They teach people from various

c) the benefits of cooperation for companies: the impact on the quality of prospective
students, apprentices; reduce early school leaving (which is a big problem in Berlin);
increasing reputation.

• If a student gives up, there are 3 options:
– Gets a new apprentice
– Goes to work
– If you would like to go back to school for 1 or 2 semesters, you have the exam
(recognition or qualifications, prior knowledge).

• trial period lasts 1-4 months. In the meantime, the company does not need to explain
why someone was kicked out of school or from the company. Later, it is hard to get rid
of them.

• Exchange of teaching jobs: It is an online portal where students seek working positions
in companies. Legal frameworks for apprenticeships are also published there.

• Days of vocational education and training: It is a kind of a fair or A Stock of teaching
jobs. Students can talk with representatives of companies. Themselves, they can bring
an application for apprenticeship and submission. It takes place in June each year. Last
year it was attended by 15,000 students, about 200 companies and academic
institutions, and held 19000 individual conversations.

• Last-minute exchange:
It takes place each year in September and is intended for those who have lost their
training places. Last year 4,200 training places were offered, attended by 3000 visitors.
Partners are the Federal employment agency and the local chamber of commerce.

• Final examination:
The Commission reviews the written work of a candidate in the final exam. Written
works are performed by all students at the same time, while the practical part of takes
place the other day and lasts for a longer period of time. Written works are marked
outside the school. They consist of three parts:
1. A special part – varies depending on the profession
2. The business section
3. Civil studies (laws, rights, …) shorter works.

• They have a special project for those who drop out of university studies. Students will
learn about what to do if they leave university studies. Some people are aged up to 36
years (already with children). If a student finds the company, it is entered into the
school. Dual system does not suffer as a degradation but can also be very successful.
Areas: IT, trade, real estate, foreign trade. Performance of the Chamber is reflected in
the fact that young people get a job. More and more new projects are introduced.
They also deal with problematic groups (immigrants, unemployed parents, ..) Together
with the school they are trying to raise the educational level of young people.

• They also have a 2-year courses for simpler professions (eg. repair of bicycles, a
worker at the hotel). At the end of the 4-year study they get a graduate professional degree (Chamber of Commerce) and university degree (Bachelor).

• The system is slow to respond to new market needs. Our lecturer and the CoC agree on that.

• Philosophy:
– Man is not just to fill vacancies but must also aim for personal progress.
– Giving young people a basic knowledge (wider than needed for the profession), that
will be facilitate lifelong learning; maybe even switch to another profession.

• Education is therefore broader than a student currently needs. Over the years and
education he can come from repairing bicycles to a university degree.

• The process for the introduction of a new profession:
The basic question is who is the composer of the curriculum. Chamber of employers is
in contact with economic Chamber of Commerce. Discussion at the federal level
(Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training – consultant professionals).
They see what is in common with the existing programs, and what is new. Even
teachers are consulted what they teach in school. A new program is finally to be
approved by the Ministry of Economy and the education ministry. The tendency is not
to expand the circle of new professions but rather classify them among the already
existing. Too big a fragmentation is not good. If someone is very narrowly educated, it
is very difficult to get a new job in case they lose it.

• Graduates can open their craftsmanship. They must submit a business plan to the CoC.

• Startup Center: Project, where companies are looking for young people who would like
special knowledge, for example FZS with many certificates, Spanish language
exchange … Small businesses can not afford that, but large ones like DT can.

• Failure of students to the final exam:
The reasons are:
1. bad training (WBL). The representative of the CoC verify what is wrong in the
– The student can have bad grades at school, but also at practical lessons or the
– Some companies do not send students to school, but work in the company
(work too much). Such an entity is punishable, they can lose their license.
Sometimes a company sends a request to the school if a student can be excused
from school, but the school does not approve of that.
2. if it is for a profession where there is a lack of training places and the student
chooses a profession that he is less interested in.
3. The evaluation committee has too much expectations.

• If the school does not reacts to problems, and the company does not react, CoC

• WBL on a full time program is at a much lower level than dual. Chamber is not
responsible for full-time program.

• Students are aged 16-17, when they leave high school (secondary school) and do not
got to the university. Therefore, they go to work. Working in a company is very
important. The behavior of students in the school was professional. Feedback from
companies is a tool for self-evaluation. It is so in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany.
The practice is based on the economic prosperity of a region, otherwise young people

3. How did I feel about What was Presented to me? What did I find innovative?
     What did I find Difficult or challenging it or to understand and why?
• The presentation training in Deutcher Bundestag was most impressive. The effort is
already made in the selection. Then they really make sure that candidates receive
knowledge from all areas.
• If the fulfillment of certain skills – competences is impossible, they connect with other
providers (eg. Department of Commerce), conduct special courses suchas for trading.
• Students are shown the way, but not the solution to the problem.
• Working in IT projects is mostly in a team.
• Good methods of conquering certain competences (eg. Every Tuesday proper German,
English Friday …)
• managing the progress of each candidate and enable improvement in the areas where
there is a deficit (eg. Public speaking)
• It reinforces collective spirit – team building (total training, running events, sports

• The role of the Chamber of Commerce in vocational education is very important and
• It provides a wide range of activities to attract young people in vocational education
• They play an important role in the final exams
• They are concerned that young people who were unsuccessful in their studies find their
way the back to school. In various ways they enable them to get an education.
• Chamber of Commerce has strong support in the strong German economy and has
many responsibilities (new programs, final exams, promotion of vocational education)
4. What is working well and could be applied in my organization and why? How
     would you go about doing this?
• In Deutcher Bundestag every effort is made that the student learns all areas of work.
To obtain a certain knowledge of external contractors, they care for the personal
development of the student in the area of soft skills (public speaking, communication
with customers, …). Even in our businesses we could put more emphasis on soft skills.
Some of the companies in our country are already doing that. Part of these soft skills
could be obtained by students already in school. Even the day for the correct use of

written language and English Friday could be introduced in some enterprises in our
country (maybe a little later). International exchange students are already
implemented and we are striving to continue to increase.
• The role of the German Chamber of Commerce for the promotion of vocational
education is important, we would like in Slovenia, Industry and Handicrafts to increase.
Here we have a lot of reserves.
• Informing parents about the possibilities of vocational education. Here the school is
more active than our Ministry of Economy, but it is turning for the better. Increasingly
the present mindset of vocational education is the cornerstone of the economic
performance of the country.
• Days of vocational education and training: in our country every year a similar meeting
takes place, it is called career fair.
• promotion of vocational education at primary schools is also carried out at our School
center, since the number of registered candidates will depend on the number of jobs
for teachers. We’re trying to move the mentality of young people to vocational
education to see it more worthy. Movements in the positive direction are already
5. What definitely wouldn’t work in my organization and why?

• Industry and Handicrafts in the current situation are too weak to acquire power similar
to that in Germany. For that we have neither the human, nor the financial conditions.
For a strong Chamber strong economy is needed.
• The method work as we saw in Deutcher Bundestag is possible with sufficient
resources, and the first condition is the dual system. Only in the dual system you can
have as many student days in the company to acquire required knowledge or
• In the area of dual education we can see certain movements and it is being
reconsidered. We already had such a system years ago.
Any Additional comments

In Germany they have long ago realized that a young man with no education and no job is most expensive for the country. Therefore both schools as well as the Chamber of Commerce are trying to lure in the process of education young people who were for various reasons eliminated from this process in the past.
So there are many activities since kindergarten for the promotion of vocational education.

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