Do professional certifications last forever?

If the professional experience is from a long time, the employees can also get the employers’ unskilled worker status. (Photo: dpa)
(Photo: Kristin Klose/dpa-tmn)

BERLIN/COLOGNE – Meanwhile, Silvia Müller (name changed) is flexible when looking for suitable employees. She must be. There is also a shortage of trained personnel in your field. She is the managing director of a shipping and logistics company.

“One of the dispatchers left us for personal reasons and we needed fairly quick support,” she says. That’s why she hired someone who is what’s called a job return. These are people who have learned a craft but have not worked in it for many years.

The reasons for this can be varied. The most common are childcare, kinship care, and unemployment. It mostly affects women. Sylvia Muller has learned that her new dispatcher has an idea of ​​what the shipping agency is all about because of the training. “That’s why we took the opportunity to build someone with a basic knowledge base.”

Absenteeism: a difficult start after a long break

But the reality is somewhat different. “If clients have not worked in their trained profession for more than four years, we assume they are cut off from their profession with a lower level of knowledge,” says Vanessa Thalhammer of the Federal Employment Agency. Depending on the individual case, this makes mediation less likely.

This coincides with the experience of Alexander Brederik. A lawyer who specializes in labor law is of the opinion that a person who takes a longer break should actually start from scratch. Many employers only hire trained professionals as unskilled if the professional experience is too long ago. According to Bredrik, they determine the period themselves.

However, the following applies: “There is no expiration for professional and academic qualifications in Germany. They are valid for a long time,” says Robert Schwesog, who until recently served as Director General for Education and Skilled Labor at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in North Rhine-Westphalia. life”.

“If the validity was limited, this would have to be regulated in the Vocational Training Act. But it is not.” It just shows that they were present at the time of the examination.

Social skills are becoming more important

A few years ago, freight forwarder Sylvia Muller gave preference to applicants who were on the job or who only had a brief career break. With the newly appointed dispatcher, I paid special attention to his social skills and motivation. And how quickly you gain knowledge again.

For them, the validity of the qualifications depends on the profession. “For a driver who has learned how to operate, load and unload a vehicle, this professional qualification is, in my opinion, longer than the commercial one.” A lot is currently changing in this field technologically, structurally and legally.

Don’t let it end: update your information

Jasna Rizzo Flanzi, Counselor for Further Education at the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce, is responsible for professional qualifications that are valid for life. However, you should not rest on your laurels. For them, apprenticeship is like home. “If you don’t work on it, it will expire.” Many job descriptions are changing rapidly, mainly due to digitization.

She recommends taking a longer vacation to see what has changed in the meantime. You can find out about a lot of current job ads or get first hand advice. Then you will know what is required.”

There are also jobs that require more training. This is what the president of the German Labor Lawyers Association (VdAA) said, Michael Hein. For example, professional lawyers like him will have to undergo 15 hours of additional legal training each year. Without this evidence, the title of “lawyer competent for labor law” will be withdrawn.

Updating knowledge through continuing education

If you are not sure if the skills you have learned are still sufficient after a long break in your job, you can apply for support. Local Chambers of Industry and Commerce and employment agencies provide support, for example with an education check or an amendment qualification.

It helps to update the knowledge from the acquired profession and increases the likelihood of returning to the old job.

But even if that works, companies need financial, human, and time resources to retrain the returnees. According to Robert Schwezhig, they do not always have a choice due to a shortage of skilled workers. Companies give people returning to work more opportunities, even if they have to invest first.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220609-99-605078 / 3

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