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Megatrends such as digitalization, individualization, and climate change are impacting many areas of life, including technical vocational and advanced training. This is important for sustainable development. This provides the skills needed to address the challenges of today in a solutions-driven manner and to shape the future in the interest of future generations. In this context, Festo Didactic is making an important contribution to the technical training of future generations as well as today’s working population with its comprehensive range of training courses and worldwide projects and partnerships.
All over the world, education is the basis for a desirable future. Theoretical and practical skills in the use of new technologies and processes ensure that companies can continue to be innovative and sustainable and enable people to participate in all of the cultural, political, social, and economic aspects of a society.
As a leading global partner to companies and educational institutions, and as a family-run company, Festo is strongly committed to the development of teaching and learning environments and the transfer of knowledge worldwide. For this reason, we as a company take social responsibility for current and future generations through our corporate educational responsibility (CER) initiatives. We are convinced that we can bring about far-reaching, positive changes in industry and society through these activities, that education contributes to peace and prosperity all over the world, and that it opens up sustainable opportunities for people.
Sustainability, above all, is what links the corporate with the social perspectives. At Festo, this is and remains a conviction to knowledge and education, technology, and innovation, and it goes hand in hand with a distinct commitment to technical education and knowledge transfer. The contribution we also make to the future viability of society in this regard is what we refer to as corporate educational responsibility (CER). What we undertake in this area and constantly improve is, at the same time, an indispensable basis for the lasting success of our company.
Adapting people’s skills to the advances in industry, however, remains an ongoing task worldwide. We cooperate with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UNESCO, and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), among others.
In this context, water plays an important role. After all, water is life. Nevertheless, 80 percent of the water used worldwide ends up in the environment untreated. This not only endangers biodiversity, but also the potable water for the world’s population. Management skills, expertise in service and maintenance routines, and efficient processes will play a major role in the future. In this context, training in water technology management is the most important means of protecting this precious resource more efficiently.
The COVID-19 pandemic also hit the education sector hard. Schools and universities all over the world were forced to close their doors. The Global Education Coalition was founded to ensure that students could continue to learn. As part of this UNESCO initiative, we decided to make a total of nine water management e-learning modules available to the general public in English and French.
The UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC) is responsible for running the Global Skills Academy. The Global Skills Academy offers free, high-quality online training from members of the Global Education Coalition.
These online training sessions can help young people build skills required to be employable. That is why we are also making nine e-learning modules on water management available globally via this platform. In addition, UNESCO-UNECOV centers around the world inspire future water and wastewater technicians to join vocational training and advanced training programs.
The Africa Cloud project entitled “atingi” is an international collaboration between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Smart Africa Alliance, and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The e-learning platform provides young people with free training content and networking opportunities. In this context, we are contributing nine water management e-learning modules to the Africa Cloud. The offer is intended to inspire young people to begin a vocational training program in the water sector.
Festo Didactic is urging ministries of education in Africa to enter into partnerships with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). ADEA provides support to ensure that digital learning and training reaches the African education system. The goal is to prepare young people for their future in the working world.
As Festo Didactic is a leader in technical vocational and advanced training, we are regarded as trusted advisors to the African ministries of education. Through our membership on the ADEA Board of Directors, we look forward to fulfilling our role as advisors in the years to come.
A First in Technical Education
Our collaboration through the H2O Maghreb project has helped us take bold steps in new areas where we might not have made such decisions on our own. The idea behind a public–private development partnership is to mitigate business risks in the private sector and build on the principle of partnership and complementarity. The focus is on joining forces to innovate in the fields of technology and education and combining them with ideas around the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
Socioeconomic Relevance for Inclusion
Such an initiative closes the gender skills gap and offers young women and men the opportunity to play an important role in society as professionals. It should be viewed as a model in Morocco to include young women in education for all, in Africa to overcome prejudices about the role of women in society, and in the world to dispel stereotypes that a “technical education is supposedly only for boys.”
WorldSkills is the leading platform for comparing international performance in vocational training professions. Festo participates in the WorldSkills Championships in various roles: as a global industry partner (GIP) and as a competition participant with Festo’s own trainees. We are active in various competitive disciplines, such as mechatronics, water technology, industrial mechanics, and renewable energy.
Promoting the skilled workers of tomorrow in order to drive technological innovation in industry has always been a top priority at Festo. When preparing for later professional life, learning through competitions takes on a special role. Whether on a team or individually, it is not only learning and solving tasks that are of great importance. Motivation is just as important as the skills learned. For the young participants of the international competitions, the event represents an unforgettable experience – directly comparing themselves with others spurs them on to peak performance and the international atmosphere generates sheer excitement. Competitions inspire young people on their way into professional life.
The motivation to be a leading driving force in education has led to the development of an independent business division at Festo, which today makes us the global market leader in technical education. With Festo Didactic, we have been investing in new markets, primarily in education, since the 1960s.
We bring our training know-how to schools, vocational schools, universities, and companies through joint projects and partnerships and inspire enthusiasm there for technology education through a broad range of educational offers. The latest technologies thus quickly find their way into company practice via syllabuses and training courses. This is our contribution to the knowledge society of tomorrow.
To set international standards for technical training, we have developed the Festo Authorized and Certified Training (FACT) quality seal. We use it to recognize select training providers for the high quality of their training labs and teaching staff. After successful certification as a FACT center, we regularly monitor compliance with our high standards through audits.