Training and educational planning
The two-track vocational training system is of central importance to German society:  training remains the basis on which young people acquire the skills needed for long-term employment, and provides people with the skills that the economy requires.  The research area of “training and educational planning” looks at the social and economic requirements of education and analyses the contents and aims of the educational system.  Methods are developed to assess companies’ training needs and strategies are developed to increase the adaptability of the educational system.

Continuing education
Lifelong learning has become a necessity in today’s dynamic information society. This means that new occupational training structures and new learning methods must be developed for both classroom and non-classroom settings. The need for learning is on the rise, but diagnosing the nature and scope of this need is becoming increasingly difficult. Although it is sometimes said nowadays that each individual must take greater responsibility for their own employability, the task of ensuring that a society’s workforce has the necessary skills cannot be left to individual assessments or to natural development of an inherent learning culture. Hence, the work of our “continuing education” research area focuses on the modernisation of continuing learning opportunities, particularly concerning the integration of learning into everyday work duties and processes, and the various stages of employees’ career paths. Also studied are the options and tasks facing public sector, private sector and individual stakeholders, and the collaboration of these stakeholders. A current research focus is the shifting relationship between occupational training and employment occasioned by demographic change.

Internationalization of vocational training
Continuous, career-long learning requires new procedures and methods for occupational education.  The research area of “media and methods” develops strategies to promote self-organised learning within companies, analyses procedures and methods of workplace learning, in particular the potential for development and limits of e-learning, and ways in which it can be combined with other modes of learning.  It also investigates the ways in which informally acquired skills can be certified, including from the perspective of the Internationalization of vocational training.