About VET 4.0

The Impact of the Digital Revolution

Digital revolution, internet of things, industry 4.0 – these are keywords for the current development in the economy. Digitalization, further automatization, globalized internetworking are big challenges for the future of the working world and for vocational education and training (VET) and further education, too.

The working world is highly dynamic, especially in the high-tech oriented sectors like electronics, mechatronics etc. Digitalization, globalization and internetworking are changing and challenging all kinds of enterprises, the big ones equally to the small and medium ones – although the peculiarities may vary. In order to keep VET sustainable, it is important to adapt the training betimes and foster a broad consensus and a close cooperation between teachers, learners, VET providers, companies, social partners and chambers.

Challenges for the Working World

In Germany the keyword "Industrie 4.0" is a synonym for digitalization and interconnectedness of the whole value-added chain in industry but the changes will affect not only the development in industry but also the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including crafts, and life as a whole. Competition conditions will change just as organization structures, decision making and leadership. Business models will have to be revised, new kinds of cooperation will become necessary and production, service and marketing will change just as purchase, stocking and logistics.

Although in some industrial companies digitized and cross-linked production has started already and some services are based on multi-media, remote-control and maintenance and automatization, in many companies, especially the small and medium ones (SME), the so-called digital revolution is only at the beginning. Altogether, the changes in the whole working world will be immense and the requirements in jobs and in VET will significantly alter, too.

Challenges for VET

In order to maintain a competitive and innovative economy, it is important that already during VET the basis is provided to face the recent development in “working world 4.0” properly. Professional tasks and required competences will change Europe-wide respectively world- wide, thus, the instruments to face it should not be national ones but European or international ones.

The challenges VET colleges face are multifold: Depending on the subjects offered, their facilities and technical equipment, some of them can already offer e.g. elements of a smart factory or IT-based services, others cannot. All in common is that the future development is rather unpredictable and that teachers, trainers, workers and VET students are challenged to learn and to acquire new competences for a new world of work. So far, this development is not yet a topic in curricula although in some companies working world 4.0 has started to be already reality. Furthermore, the majority of (VET) teachers is not aware of the dimension of change and not prepared to face the innovations. There hardly exists learning material for VET students nor does it for the further education of teachers and trainers.


What we want to achieve


The project VET 4.0 deals with the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution on future working processes and on the competence requirements in a technical, organizational and social perspective in the fields of electronics and mechatronics. For that purpose an empirical study with standardized open central questions was undertaken.

Target groups of the study have been technicians, engineers, production managers and representatives of employers’ organizations and social partners in the respective fields. Another questionnaire for VET teachers and trainers focused on the changes in didactics and methodology and the resulting impacts on learning (e.g. curriculum development, assessments, settings etc.). Altogether 55 interviews have been undertaken.

On the basis of these interviews and of a Europe wide literature study a comprehensive research report was made. Core of this report is the description of the implications of the 4th industrial revolution for VET teaching and training.

The results of the empirical study are summarized in two competence matrixes for the working world 4.0 in the fields of electronics and mechatronics, one for VET students and one for VET teaching and training staff. With regard to changing working processes competence change areas for VET students have been identified and their specificity concerning grade of complexity, innovation, and expertise listed. In addition the competence requirements for teachers and trainers have been described.

Training Modules for VET Students

In the project VET 4.0 altogether five innovative learning modules for VET students in the fields of electronics and mechatronics have been developed. The learning modules are freely available and fulfill the requirements of modern, open and collaborative learning. They consider the aspects of data security and data protection, they can be used interdisciplinary and prepare for the work with automatized, reactive and mobile processes.

The topics of the learning modules focus on internet of things, intelligent house, smart and keen factory and digital factory for individualized mass production.

Training Modules for VET Teachers and Trainers

In the project VET 4.0 five learning modules for VET teachers and trainers in the fields of electronics and mechatronics have been developed. Functionally they are related to the learning modules for VET students. Basically also for teachers and trainers it is important to be able to deal with the challenges of working world 4.0 and to develop the respective learning settings. Concretely they will have to be able to

  • manage the changes in curriculum development,
  • to change the organization of learning processes,
  • to create didactical changes and
  • to develop new formative assessments.


1. EUGES Cologne

The EU-Agency of the Regional Government of Cologne/Germany (EUGES) belongs to the school supervisory department which is responsible for all 58 vocational colleges in the area of Cologne. For these colleges it provides a general service with respect to all questions of European activities. Furthermore, it is an advisory centre with respect to questions of school improvement and implementation of new concepts into the vocational education with regard to a European perspective. During the last years its focus in its own projects was on the implementation of ECVET, the improvement and increase of mobilities and on quality assurance. The EUGES has good contacts to the chambers and other sector actors. Since 1995 the EUGES as applicant organisation for EU-Projects has gained experience in realisation, coordination and evaluation of numerous EU-projects such as mobility projects (MOVE, MOTION), Comenius projects (EASE), and Leonardo TOI-projects as coordinating institution (TRIFT, IT:BSE, THEME) and as partner (ECMO, Matching Frames, ERMES). Within the TOI projects, the EUGES developped several instruments to implement the ECVET process and to ensure and improve the quality of European mobility in the VET sector.

2. Kouvola Region Vocational College

The Finnish KSAO is a well-known reliable partner from former projects. Their expertise and interest in innovative VET for the future working world is exceptional. KSAO is interested in promoting the results of the VET 4.0 project with special regard to technical developments in the high-tech industry sectors. Furthermore, there is special interest in the guarantee of quality of VET by using ECVET/EQAVET instruments.

3. IFOA Reggio nell'Emilia

IFOA in close cooperation with the regional government of Emilia-Romagna is involved in strengthening work-based learning as well as innovation in VET in general. IFOA is a well-experienced partner with a huge network which can help to disseminate and valorize the project's results, not only all over Italy but also Europe-wide. IFOA will add to the high quality of the whole project and support the lead partner in the monitoring and evaluation process.

4. Kungsbacka

Förvaltningen för Gymnasie & Vuxenutbildning, Kungsbacka kommun is very experienced in European project work and cross-linked in the Gothenburg region. They bring in expertise in teaching industrial automatization and have a profound experience with ECVET.

5. Wrocław

Central European Chamber of Commerce

6. IES Campanillas

Public School in Malaga, Andalucia 
Offers Secondary Edudation, Post-Compulsary Secondary Education and Vocational Education and Training studies. Vocational Education and Training is located at the Technologic Park of Andalucia. Specialized in Electronics, Networks, and Software Development (Web and Mobile) through Bilingual and Dual System Education programs.
Long experience in Erasmus+ Projects. Large number of Erasmus+ students internship mobilities in IT Companies at several EU Countries. Hosting organization for internship Erasmus+ students from partners AdolfKolpingBerufSkolleg and GeorgSimonOhmBerufSkolleg in Cologne Region (Germany). IES Campanillas is a certificated European Volunteer Service hosting institution through Erasmus+ Youth program. And also participate in Erasmus+ Youth Exchange programs.

7. Kaunas, Lithuania

The Centre for Vocational Education and Research at the Vytautas Magnus University possesses high expertise in the following fields:
1) Research and development of qualifications, curriculum design, education and training policy analysis, research of labour market and occupations;
2) Development of the measures and instruments of curriculum design;
3) Research and development of know-how in the field of teacher education and training in VET and continuing training.

8. Maastricht

Förvaltningen för Gymnasie & Vuxenutbildning, Kungsbacka kommun is very experienced in European project work and cross-linked in the Gothenburg region. They bring in expertise in teaching industrial automatization and have a profound experience with ECVET.

Participating German VET Colleges

We would like to introduce to you the colleges which participate in our strategic partnership.

The Adolf-Kolping Vocational College in Kerpen-Horrem near Cologne (Germany) focuses on media and technology and cooperates with companies in these vocational fields. The main educational courses in the field of technology are structural engineering, electrical engineering, automotive engineering and information engineering.

Berufskolleg für Technik
The Vocational College for technology in Düren near Cologne (Germany) offers a diverse range of educational courses in the technical field such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and information engineering.

The Carl-Reuther-Berufskolleg in Hennef (Germany) offers a wide range of technical educational courses such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and information engineering.

The Vocational College Georg Kerschensteiner in Troisdorf near Cologne (Germany) offers a wide range of educational courses. In the technical field the college focuses on manufacturing systems engineering as well as plastics and natural rubber engineering.


  • Certificate of participation VET 4.0 students: click here
  • Certificate of participation VET 4.0 trainers: click here
  • Plant Irrigation 4.0 (IOT): click here