Specialists for the energy transition

The developments of recent months have dramatically highlighted the need for a sustainable energy transition. However, the implementation of the necessary infrastructure requires specialists who are well trained with new education concepts.

Gas prices are far from the levels of days gone by, demand for heat pumps is skyrocketing across Europe, yet customers are being made promises for years to come.

Electric mobility also remains an ever-present topic. In addition to individual mobility, energy management and smart home concepts such as establishing a charging station network play an important role. However, the provision of the necessary infrastructural requirements is currently being hindered by a shortage of available specialist staff.

A survey from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) shows that the future market for electric mobility, smart homes and regenerative energies threatens to pass by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) due to the shortage of skilled workers. The findings of the survey also confirm that demand is high for an overall concept for vocational training in the fields of innovation described.

BexElektro against the shortage of skilled workers

The Fraunhofer IAO, together with seven partners, is therefore testing out a modular and continuous vocational training system with the “BexElektro” project, which will offer up to a university-equivalent degree of a masters-level professional.

The three advanced further training courses – as a certified professional specialist with a focus on electric mobility, renewable energies and energy management – address the high demand for specialists in these business areas. In addition, the offerings set an example for an equivalent of professional and academic education.

Training providers in Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and Saxony are presenting the new offers in close cooperation with manufacturing companies that complement each other and that are eligible for credit.

Innovative didactics

It is particularly important to derive the requirements and fields of action from operational practice. The further training builds on the expertise of electronic and information technology training occupations. And to get the content across, BexElektro uses modern didactic and methodical concepts such as augmented and virtual reality as well as AI-based processes for need recognition, fact research and shaping interaction. Blended learning therefore guarantees independence with regard to time and location. Ultimately, after this training, graduates should be able to take responsibility for their own further training.

All of the measures are categorized as level 5 in the German Qualifications Framework (DQR) – an instrument for classifying the German education system. The modular structure of the training courses also makes it possible to react promptly to changing skill requirements and to take individual modules as required.

This also offers opportunities for people changing careers: They can attend suitable modules and develop further. And quality standards ensure permeability to higher academic options.

The result is educational offerings that get across current, market-oriented content to trainees, people changing careers, practitioners and decision-makers. Companies can qualify their specialists, while apprentices can increase their value on the job market with recognized qualifications.

Knowledge base

Fraunhofer IAO: Qualification campaign for the energy and mobility transition: Short report on the survey of managers and staff representatives from industry and craft trade in the electronics sector.