In light of the Industrie 4.0 in Germany and “Made in China 2025” in China, the German and Chinese governments have strengthened cooperation and identified a sufficient supply of skilled workers as well as availability of upgrade scenarios for SMEs as crucial to the sustainable industrial advancement.
However, cities in China, especially those that are experiencing rapid digital translation, have confronted the following challenges that hamper the full fulfillment of production potentials:
- It is getting more difficult for local skill workers to find jobs due to the lack of digital mindset and skills to operate in the increasingly digitalized environment. The limited access to educational resources further exacerbates the situation.
- Local SMEs find it hard to locate workers equipped with the required skillset for their digitalizing production environment. And many SMEs still lack application scenarios on how to realize digital transition on the shop floor.
- From the perspective of the German industry, the untapped potential of the lower-tier cities in China also hinders German industries from optimizing their market opportunities, especially for high-end manufacturing products and equipment.
The project aims to enable workers to adapt to an increasingly digitalized manufacturing environment and facilitate SMEs’ digital upgrading in manufacturing-intensive regions in China through the development and promotion of an interactive Industrie 4.0 learning platform (LP 4.0) that combines online learning and offline training.
Features of the Online Learning Platform
The Industrie 4.0 Learning Platform (LP 4.0) will share Industrie 4.0-related knowledge, technologies and application scenarios, catering particularly to the learning needs of companies in demand of skilled personnel, supervisors as well as digital transition. The platform will feature the following key functions:
- Information portal: latest policies and market updates on domestic and international development in Industrie 4.0/Intelligent Manufacturing
- Specialized courses: target technical workers and supervisors and include introductory courses on the general Industrie 4.0-related knowledge, digital mindset, as well as technical courses on hands-on application of technologies in specific selected sectors / areas (the combination of online and offline will be adopted).
- Exchange forum: interactive functions including course recommendations, learning experience exchange, job hunting portals, product sections and other Q&A sections.
Project Sponsor and Implementation Mechanism
The project will be implemented over a period of three years within the framework of develoPPP projects sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to promote public-private cooperation for bigger social impact (for more information, please visit: https://www.developpp.de/en.
In this project, the public budget will be managed by GIZ. The private cooperation partners will contribute via in-kind services (i.e. personnel, materials, venues and travel cost etc). There will be no direct cash flows between GIZ and the private cooperation partners or among the cooperation partners.
For the initial promotion, the project will focus on workers and companies in five pilot cities. The platform plans to conduct promotional activities, offline demonstrations sessions, onsite training courses with the support of the local authorities to increase the marketability of the platform.
In the later stage of implementation, the platform will roll out to cities further-inland along the Yangtze River region, which is the strategic focus of the Chinese government to enhance Intelligent Manufacturing development, to gain a critical mass of users. After project completion, the platform shall continue to offer free access to the basic course developed. However, the platform can be financed by offering “Premium Services” and derivative businesses, such as customized consultation, on-site trainings and advertisement, upon consensus of all partners, in the long run.