THE GERMAN-Slovak Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SNOPK), in cooperation with the Slovak Education Ministry, launched on February 1 a nationwide information campaign called fit4future, aimed at encouraging practical education for pupils in the technical sphere.

The current education system does not reflect the needs of the labour market, and companies, despite the 35-percent youth-unemployment rate, still lack qualified workforces, head of the working group for vocational education Roman Nosko said, as reported by the TASR newswire. Therefore, a total of 17 companies have decided to join forces to provide funds for expert practical training for 261 pupils.
The Education Ministry stated that it supports the fit4future project as part of its plans to introduce a dual system of education, similar to the one in place in Germany, which combines theory and practice.

“We estimate that we might be able to employ around 160,000 people in technical professions, if they’re [placed] in the required qualification structure,” said Education Ministry State Secretary Štefan Chudoba, as quoted by TASR.

According to Chudoba, the Education Ministry is preparing a new law on vocational education, which should be introduced as of 2015. One of the most significant features is the combination of theoretical studies (carried out by schools) and practical training (carried out by companies).