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MYSKILLS - New test makes professional knowledge visible

The German Federal Agency and Bertelsmann Stiftung are developing a new test MYSKILLS for professional know-how. The goal is to facilitate the integration of refugees, immigrants and unemployed people without vocational qualifications into the labour market. In the future, MYSKILLS will offer job agencies and job centres
30 professions in six languages.

13 Mar 2018 | Press Release No. 9

Many job seekers in Germany have already worked in one profession for several years without completing their internship. Despite the lack of formal qualifications, they have professional know-how. Also refugees often bring professional skills, but they cannot prove it. Their skills are difficult to assess for employment agencies, job brokers and potential employers, making integration into the labour market difficult. The MYSKILLS test procedure now provides a reliable assessment of what a person can do in a profession.

MySkills - Start with eight professions

Employment agencies and job centres initially offer the computer-aided test in eight professions: automotive mechatronics technician, salesman, metal technology specialist, carpenter, cook, farmer, construction worker as well a top coat painter. During the year, the range will be extended to 30 occupations. To overcome language barriers, the test can be taken not only in German but also in English, Russian, Turkish, Farsi and Arabic. Participation is voluntary.

Each test includes about 120 questions specific to the profession and takes about four hours. Participants will see videos and pictures of typical operational practical situations and will receive technical questions. The test results are generated automatically and can be discussed the next day during a consultation. The result is a diverse picture of the areas of activity in which the participant is confident in his or her actions. Participants can then add the test to their application documents to help employers better document their professional skills.

The results help in the mediation strategy

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, considers MYSKILLS to be an important instrument for consultants and mediators: "We want to integrate job seekers into the job market as well as possible. When we see how deeply professional a refugee or a low-skilled jobseeker is it’s very helpful to us. We can make better suggestions to employers, we can look for suitable follow-up qualifications, and we can thus offer a step-by-step assistance to people on the road to reach a competent conclusion. At the end of the day, we want to turn people with basic professional knowledge into recognised qualified specialists. MYSKILLS is the first step in this direction."

Jörg Dräger, Chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Executive Board, sees MYSKILLS as a contribution to the social integration of refugees as well as countering tool to counteract the shortage of skilled workers in many industries: "There are talents among refugees and job seekers who desperately seek out many companies. We just have to bring them together and MYSKILLS is here to help. There has never before been a test that allows so many meaningful individual professional profiles to work so quickly."

MYSKILLS was developed jointly by the Federal Employment Agency and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Scientific project partners are the Research Institute for Industrial Education f-bb and the German Institute for International Educational Research DIPF. A large number of practical experts were also involved, such as trainers, vocational school teachers, examiners, supervisors, employers, chambers and associations.


Information about Bertelsmann Foundation.