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Top Priority of Campaign "Work": Five-Year-Program of the International Kolping Society

Championing worker’s rights throughout the world

On the International Convention of the International Kolping Society in May of 2007 delegates voted the subject of “work“ as a top priority for its campaigns for the next five years.

These are the top priority subjects for the years:

  • 2008: Christian Understanding of Work
  • 2009: Unemployment
  • 2010: Informal World of Work
  • 2011: Advanced Professional Qualification
  • 2012: Labor Law

Qualification as the basis for additional learning processes – life-long learning

DThe well-known saying ”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks“ no longer applies. “Life-long learning” is the name of the new challenge at a time of rapid technological, social, and demographic changes. Work and occupational training are compacted from one year to the next, the time-frames of production processes are getting shorter and shorter, experiences and the level of knowledge become rapidly obsolete. The young skilled workers, who we are now training at the newest state of technology, will nevertheless not be at the newest state of technology when they complete their training. We therefore speak of the half-life of knowledge and what we do know applies only for the time being. Life-long learning has found acceptance in many education-political programs, but it also requires the capacity of the individual to absorb information.

Those who want to deal successfully with this transition have to recognize the changes and accept them as a challenge for themselves, because learning today means to constantly deal with what is new in thought and in real terms. Lao-tzu already knew that “learning is like rowing against the current – as soon as one stops, one drifts back.” What is new to us is the fact that it does, by now, affect each and every one of us.

The attributes that come to our minds with respect to the concept of “(on-going) occupational training” are: life-long and employment-oriented. The old separation of training phase and working life no longer works. Practicing an occupation and learning permeate one another, and that applies to all of one’s whole working life.

Excerpt from: "On-going Occupational Training and Kolping" by Josef Sebastian Paul, Managing Director, Kolping Educational Centre Augsburg. Please click here to download all the text.

In June 2009 Dr. Hildegard Hagemann (German Commission of Justice and Peace) gave a lecture in the name of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL during a meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva on the subject of "The Relevance of ratifying ILO Conventions in the periods of crisis".

Here you may download the Essay by Hubert Tintelott: "Labor has priority over Capital – The Christian Understanding of Work and significant statements of the Encyclical 'Laborem Exercens'" as PDF.

This Essay is taken form the Publication "Dialogue", Edition 1/2008: "The dignity of human work – The Christian Concept of Work".
You can order it from:
Roswitha Danz
Tel.+49 (0)221 / 77 88 0 - 22
E-Mail: RoswithaDanz@kolping.net