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E. Shoikova1, G.N. Nedeltcheva2, R. Nikolov1

1University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
2Sofia University (BULGARIA)
We are entering into a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) shaped by advanced technologies from the physical, digital and biological worlds that combine to create innovations at a speed and scale unparalleled in human history. The rise of 4IR along with all enabling technologies such as Cloud computing, Internet of Things, multi-agent systems, cyber-physical systems, artificial intelligence, etc. will transform current factory workers to knowledge workers.

The education system needs to create new skills, respond to the "nature" of the new professions that are expected to be created, and improve employability. There are two leading areas for change - conceptual (new models of learning, development of social learning theory) and technological (e-learning, smart learning, mobile devices, learning communities and networks).

A competency model organizes the competencies needed to perform successfully in a particular work setting, such as a job, occupation, or industry. For instance, competency models can be used as a resource for developing a curriculum and selecting training materials. Competency-Based Education (CBE) has captured the imagination of many higher education institutions across the world.

The purpose of this article is to explore, in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the methodological framework for competency-based education and to give an illustration of the overall management process that is essential to the successful development of such an initiative. The aim also is to encourage the use of the competence-based approach in the training process, broadening the forms of e-learning, training in a real working environment, stimulating the students in the scientific and applied activity through implementation of innovative projects, as well as improving the culture of continuing education, increasing the role of businesses and universities in the development of life-long learning system.

After the introduction part, in Section 2 the present research outlines opportunities facing the business leaders. It also gives recommendations which taken together from industry, governments, young people and stakeholders could build a strong framework for advancement. As well, the purpose is to convene institutions and businesses around to prepare youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. They need to respond to the critical challenges by preparing the workforce of tomorrow.

Section 3 presents the models for the planning and implementation of smart learning environments. Focus is on analysis of the new types of jobs that are requiring future personnel to be well equipped to meet the need of the expansion requirements of the industries and keep up with their development needs. For example, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) uses a Building Blocks model to depict the key competencies needed in specific industries. Real-world examples/tools how businesses, educators, and the workforce investment system are developing and using industry competency models to address their workforce challenges are presented, as well.

Finally, the paper draws a conclusion about the well-constructed CBE programs that could provide greater flexibility for adult learners, reduce costs for institutions, and provide students with validated skills that are highly valued by employers. In the modern environment, competence-based education requires a new way of thinking, a new strategy, and organization.