Industry is undergoing major changes: digitalisation as well as new approaches to information, communication and media technology are changing production and the relationship between humans and machines. Keywords for this are Industry 4.0 or Smart Factory.
This development is changing the demands on training. A project of UAS St. Pölten currently surveys the offering of relevant educational opportunities in Austria and compares it with the needs of businesses.
New forms of production, new qualifications
"We ask companies what employee qualifications the company wants, and how important certain technologies or soft skills are. This we compare with the status quo in the education and further education landscape in Austrian universities, technical universities and non-university institutions. From the comparison, the content-related and geographical demand for future educational opportunities is revealed", explained Thomas Moser, director of the project as well as the research group Digital Technologies in the department Media and Digital Technologies at the UAS St. Pölten.
Course of study "Smart Engineering"
Since autumn 2015, the UAS St. Pölten has also offered training in the area of Industry 4.0: the bachelor programme Smart Engineering of Production Technologies and Processes. "From the beginning of the development of the new course of study we have asked about the role of the 'human factor' in Industry 4.0. The so-called Industry 4.0 can only reach individual companies through well trained people. Thus, the aim of Industry 4.0 is 'flexible production' with people as the most intelligent and most flexible 'production resource'," said study programme director Franz Fidler.
A special feature is the organisation of studies as so-called dual studies, in which practice and training blocks are integrated in cooperating companies as fixed components of the curriculum. This course of study is the first dual study programme in eastern Austria.
Results of the AEIQU project will contribute to the focus of the study programme. In addition, the study programme participates in the Austrian platform industry 4.0 in the working group "qualifications and competences". Applications for the study programme are still possible until 16. June.
The project AEIQU (application-based survey industry-4.0-relevant qualification requirements and their impact on the Austrian educational landscape) is financed by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology in cooperation with the Institute for Industrial Research (IWI) and carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Work Management (ILO). Duration: March 2016 to February 2017.