Summary of the Strategic Partnership project partners’ meeting, 23./24. March 2022
3rd Partner Meeting – Erasmus+ - BSBAU - 23./24. March 2022
Short summary of the 3rd meeting
At the third partner meeting, the vocational school for the construction industry and the partner associations presented how they find students and motivate them for vocational training. The partner associations provided examples of training in the construction industry in Vienna.
We hope that we was able to inspire you and are looking forward to your feedback and a constructive discussion in the future.
Our presentations focus on the essentials of cooperation between vocational school and partner associations for vocational training and the responsibility of the individual organizations for their training part. A summary or compilation of best practice examples was given.
After welcoming our guests, the opening speech was held by Mr. Thomas Bäuerl, School Quality Manager, Board of Education for Vienna, who introduced the assignment of the Board of Education and the Ministry of Education. Afterwards Mr. Bäuerl talked about the problem overcoming the shortage of skilled workers and that apprenticeship is a successful model for the future as the demand is increasing. Apprenticeship is reducing risks for unemployment. As the world skill competition shows, the dual education system might be the right way as the apprentice performance show very successful participation in the international comparison.
Following the short look at the Austrian apprentice situation of the construction industry, Mr. Gernot Kulle, Headmaster of BSBAU, introduced the vocational school for the industrial industry and the dual education system. At the vocational school are 14 different apprenticeship educations such as e. g. building assistant, architectural draughtsperson, paver, tiler and underground construction. Approximately one third is in a bricklayer training. Currently there are 890 students in total (10% female) at the BSBAU. An important focus is on traditional building crafts as well as on skills. BSBAU has the status of an expert+ school for extraordinary achievements (gold medal, awarded by the Ministry of Education). On a walk through the school, the visitors could get an impression about the diversity of the different construction crafts living the dual system of practical and theoretical education. Partners of the vocational school of the construction industry are companies who train apprentices in practical skills.
Afterwards Mr. Thomas Prigl, Vice Headmaster BSBAU, gave an introduction about the Austrian education system with a special look on the dual education system of the vocational training which is called VET – abbreviation for the Vocational Education and Training. The training can start earliest after compulsory school attendance and is part-time at the vocational school (20% of time) and the company (80% of time). The apprentice completes the dual training during their apprenticeship in school and at the company. During his apprenticeship the apprentice already receives salary. The duration of an apprenticeship last between 2 – 4 years, according to their choice of profession. Vocational higher education entrance examination can be taken parallel to apprenticeship training, this is necessary for further studies at university. The apprenticeship is completed after an examination of professional experts. The code for a completed apprenticeship in Austria in the ISCED is 354. During the apprenticeship, juveniles will go through a process of socialisation which will help them in the world of adults. Therefore, and to ensure the quality of education, the cooperation between vocational school, economy and trade unions is essential. For more information about the Austrian school system, visit www.buildungssystem.at/en. Mr. Prigl also gives a short introduction of digital tools which shall improve the image. To reach trainees it is already important to address 12-year-old students with e.g. image videos or professional photos. Furthermore skill competitions such as the World Skills are important as this may result in presence in newspapers etc. Job fairs are important as the give the attendees the opportunity to address future trainees as if interest in a certain profession is given, the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship is given on spot.
Ms. Shirly Pitz, Project Coordination KUS and social worker, follows with a presentation about the education and counselling apprentices and about graduation coaching programs. KUS is a partner for Viennese apprentices and offers a variety of social offers, educational, cultural and sport program and accompany apprentices during their training time. It sees itself as a lobby for Viennese apprentices. For juveniles at this age, it is very important to provide stability and credibility as they need space to “show” themselves. Therefore, cooperation with schools and counselling teachers are especially important. KUS offers preparation for final apprenticeship leave exams as well as for higher education entrance exam and other supporting lectures. Apprentices are also entitled to take the offer of psychotherapy, coaching, assistance for homeless apprentices as well as classes in sports and attendance in cultural offers. A problem given is the work-life-balance as well as problems with trainers on the job. The apprentices feel a lot of pressure, especially in large companies, and lose their motivation although they like their job. Nevertheless, they then lose their motivation to enjoy higher education as well. But the problem starts earlier. If they lose their motivation, they stop attending school. Also changes on the job market, such as digitalization, will be a huge challenge in future. The drop-out rate is determining the image. If the dropout rate is low, the image is rather high. KUS is also contact point at vocational schools directly. It supports strong students to reach higher goals (10% are in a prolonged apprenticeship including A-levels) as well as weak students to complete their apprenticeship. Especially the support and success of students with higher education goals improve the image of apprenticeship which is especially important for parents, as they want a career perspective for their children. KUS is a supporting institution in professional and personal matters which was furthermore especially important through the pandemic.
The BIWI is a possibility for talent orientation which is introduced by Mr. Roland Schojer, Head of BIWI. The BIWI gives career guidance and information for young persons in the age of 14 to 20. The main mission of the BIWI is to inform about job and career possibilities as well as connecting schools, companies, students and parents. Besides offering an online questionnaire for a first orientation, “living” interactions at apprentice days, job fairs or school visits can be consumed for further information about different professions. This gives the opportunity, not only for future apprentices to inform and show themselves, but also to schools and companies to promote themselves. The BIWI is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Vienna Educational Board to find and approach future talents. All students between 12 and 14 will visit a job information hour as it is integrated in school level 1. Again is was pointed out that a career perspective with apprenticeship needs to be shown especially for parents of potential apprentices in order to chose this way of education.
Ms. Margit Pollek, Coordination of eEducation Austria, from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, talked about goals of eEducation in Austria and the importance to ease access to future occupational fields. Therefore, e.g. schools can train its teachers in eEducation and get a status of expert. This implements that eEducation trainings are offered. To reach an expert status, different trainings such as digitally inclusive subject didactics, information technology education or complementary e-learning activities are offered to gain digital competencies. After completing different activities, teachers/schools can gain badges which will lead step by step to more expertise and should sum up to the expert status. Besides education in digital pedagogical competences, a further important point is networking with other experts. The program also offers contact with federal state coordinators to exchange inputs and ideas, reflect, develop concepts and to receive support on the way. This expert status shall also raise the image of schools and BSBAU is proud to be an expert+ school.
Day 2 starts with a presentation of one of the biggest building companies in Austria, Porr, represented by Ms. Petra Karacs, who talks about the background and meaning of acquisition. Porr´s Human Ressources department is responsible for picking and supervision of the apprentices. The chances for a career in a company like Porr have to be made clear and used. The importance of the apprentices is high, apprentices will be the leading workers of tomorrow. Porr not only acknowledges the importance of building skills, but also the importance of relationships connecting the workers and the importance of personality development. The quality of the building skills is secured by the company´s own academy: Porr Campus.
Following Ms. Petra Karacs is Mr. Thomas Stangl, who represents the Wirtschaftskammer Wien, the Economic Chamber Vienna. The major assignments of the chamber are:
Next is Mr. Christian Dobianer, teacher at the BSBAU and vice guildmaster of floorlayers in Vienna. Dobianer talks about the so called “Hammerlehre” (“hammer-apprenticeship”), a campaign trying to get youths interested in doing an apprenticeship. Hammerlehre is not just about being a platform of information, it also is keeping up a Facebook-profile and attends fairs for apprentices, focusing on digital accompanying future apprentices all year long. Dobianer´s point of view is mainly given by his position in a subsidiary trade, especially these trades had to suffer from loss of apprentices some years ago.
Mr. Andreas Hauser represents the BAUAkademie Wien, the BuildingAcademy Vienna. Hauser talks about the special position he has with the BAUAkademie, which is neither a school in a classic sense nor a company. The students are apprentices, who could not get a job in a regular company, they get trained on the job to learn all the necessary skills, therefor being able to start working in a company when the occasion is here. The goal of course is to secure a job for the students.
The platform www.baudeinezukunft.at (build your future) was conceived by the main building trades. This platform is a connection between the companies and the future apprentices. There is also an apprentice-expert in each of the nine federal countries of Austria, who is visiting schools and companies. The building trade is trying to make itself more appealing to the youth by printing info folders, going online, organizing fairs, doing a Youtube channel, spending money on give aways … Many young people do not know about their career opportunities in the building trade, but climbing up the career ladder from apprentice to master builder does generate quite a substantial amount of money in income, as apprentice experts Nicole Mürner and Nadine Lang point out.
The run of presentation was hosted by Mr. Thomas Prigl, vice headmaster of the BS BAU. The short summaries of the comments of the audience were written on a flip chart. After a few words by Thomas Prigl, the meeting ended at about 05:00 p. m.