New publication: Lifelong learning for engineers?

  • December 2018

The foundation NexTech was founded in 1918 by a large number of industrial companies as a support fund for the higher technical school in Dordrecht. Its goal is to actively contribute towards technological and innovative developments in the region South Holland South. NexTech tries to pursue this goal by stimulating knowledge development and encouraging higher educated people to obtain or keep a job in the field of technology.

On 15 October 2018, NexTech celebrated its 100th anniversary. For this occassion, NexTech invited SEOR to carry out a study on the growing importance of lifelong learning for higher education technicians and the need to stimulate and facilitate this.

The study shows that the training participation of higher educated technicians is relatively high. However, this does not imply that the need for training can be left solely to the responsibility of individual employees and employers. When the necessary investments are substantial and only offer a positive return in the long term, the possibility of underinvestment is particularly high. Employee and employer organisations should therefore play an important role in the training policies for higher educated technicians.

A shortage in engineers is likely to be a bigger problem than insufficient schooling for this group. Measures in initial education should be the main focus in preventing and solving this issue. However, promoting a switch of higher educated people towards technological functions could also play a role. At this moment, there seem to be only few specific arrangements for higher educated technicians working in non-technological functions, who are interested in a transition towards a technological function.