THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRIAL SKILLS Joining forces for the creation of Industry 4.0 curricula


1. The Future of Industrial Skills

2. Stronger in Partnership: Joining forces for the creation of Industry 4.0 curricula

3. Six things we learned at the UNIDO LKDF Annual Meeting

4. Next steps

1. The Future of Industrial Skills

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly becoming a reality for millions of workers and companies around the world. Advances in technology offer a new age of improved work, progress and prosperity for all. But if managed poorly, could lead to widening skills gaps and greater inequality. UNIDO’s Learning and Knowledge Development Facility asked its partners from private, public and development sectors to reflect on these emerging technologies and the future of industrial skills.

2. Stronger in Partnership: Joining forces for the creation of Industry 4.0 curricula

On the 5-6th December, UNIDO’s LKDF gathered its partners across diverse industries and regions to join forces for the co-creation of Industry 4.0 curricula to help developing and transition countries meet the challenges of this new era of accelerating change and innovation. Hosted by Festo Didactic and the WorldSkills Foundation, the meeting gathered some 30 participants from the private, public and development sectors.

On the side-lines of the event, we caught up with participants to get their take on Industry 4.0, the future of industrial skills and the role their organizations could play in the co-creation of an Industry 4.0 curricula. Here is what they said:

Bruno Renders, Director, IFSB (Institut de Formation Sectoriel du Bâtiment), Luxembourg

Pavel Bilenko, Head of Industry 4.0 Educational Programmes, SKOLKOVO, Moscow School of Management

Nader Imani, Executive Vice President Global Education Festo Didactic, Germany

Ken Swain, Chairman, EON Reality, UK

Nephias Moyo, Zambian Industrial Training Academy (ZAMITA), Zambia

Tian Chen Clausen, Project Manager, Scania Academy, Sweden

3. Six things we learned at the UNIDO LKDF Annual Meeting

In addition to training on Industry 4.0 and a tour around the Technologiefabrik Scharnhausen, provided by the hosts, the meeting consisted of a series of plenaries and working sessions around the Public Private Development Partnership model, as well as the future of industrial skills. Participants shared i) what is happening in the industry and ii) why is this important in the future in the following topics: Internet of Things/Big Data, Autonomous machines and systems, Virtual/Augmented reality, Human-machine integration, Additive manufacturing (3D printing).

The participants agreed on the following key characteristics and actions for “future of industrial skills-related” curricula:



Developing a course that increases general awareness and understanding for Industry 4.0 related topics

A basic course of Industry 4.0 –related technologies would help students, teachers, policy makers and workers understand better what the different technologies or combination of these entail.


Embedding IT skills as well as problem solving components in any training programme, including basics of coding

Participants agreed that in order to prepare for future job markets, IT skills (going beyond basic formatting and spreadsheet courses) are required. Additionally, students should learn about problem solving skills throughout their studies.



Using a modular approach to enable usage across multiple situations, countries, target groups

Countries have different levels of development and students coming into skills training institutes have different qualification backgrounds. Therefore, future of skills curricula should be modular to enable its usefulness for various situations and user groups.


Embedding innovative approaches, such as gamification

Traditional ways of learning will become increasingly obsolete in the digital era. Therefore, the Industry 4.0 curricula should take use of innovative didactical approaches.


Customizing learning through longer internships as part of the training methodology

Industry 4.0 means different things for different companies and employers. Therefore the curricula should focus on providing basic skills, complemented with long internships at industry and companies to allow the student to understand particular needs and requirements of different sectors.


Involving youth in the development as well as validation of the curricula

Co-creation of the curricula should include involvement of the youth in its development and validation.

Networking in the field of skills development is crucial. LKDF is a good example of such cross-fertilization across partners from different sector. As a representative of the VET-Toolbox and LuxDev, I’m happy to be part of this year’s meeting and to develop new ideas for PPDPs.

Alexis Hoyaux (LuxDev)

Kathinka Kurz, Head of Programme, Development Partnerships - develoPPP.de: "The question that we need to ask ourselves really is: where is the business case for the private sector? This answer is crucial for the development of further PPDPs."
We have a shortage of specialized welders for the mining industry in Zambia. NORTEC would be happy to contribute in the development of a PPDP in this regard, as have seen here with ZAMITA, PPDP programmes are very successful.

Victor Mulenga (NORTEC Technical College, Zambia)

JÜRGEN HIEROLD (UNIDO), Chief Partnership Coordination Division: "LKDF has proven itself to be a very successful platform for partnerships. We firmly believe that education is a prerequisite for inclusive and sustainable industrial development."
Adaptation to the changing economy cannot be performed alone. We can only move forward through partnerships.

Tian Chen Clausen (Scania Academy, Sweden)

The more we work together, the more I am convinced that it was the right idea to create this facility in 2012.

Nader Imani (Executive Vice President, Global Education Festo Didactic, Germany)

4. Next steps

The LKDF partners will co-create an action plan on how to take the curricula development further. We will make sure that all partners have an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. In Q1 of 2019, the LKDF will send out a first draft of the action plan to the workshop participants and other LKDF partners.

If you have inputs, feedback or any other information to share in this regard, please send an email to lkd-facility@unido.org.

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