SLOVAKIA used to have an effective dual education infrastructure, but it disappeared with the fall of the former, totalitarian regime. Now, as the market yearns for more and better prepared workers with technical skills, companies have began to establish their own dual education centres to fulfil their need for specialised workers. One of them, the Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia (VW), opened its own training centre, the Centre of Dual Education, in mid September.
“Since workers are our biggest capital, qualification is also an investment into the future and we are sure that such dual education will contribute to the top quality and success [of VW SK] also in the future,” Albrecht Reimold, CEO of VW SK, said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 11. Reimold himself attended a dual education programme and believes that the knowledge and experience he obtained from it helped him to grow and become the CEO of Volkswagen Slovakia.
The Centre for Dual Education is based on the German dual education system. The pilot programme offered is a two-year mechatronics course. Mechatronics combines mechanical, electronic and systems engineering in product design and the carmaker considers it a promising profession needed in many sectors of the automotive industry. Currently, 24 students were selected from 300 applicants - graduates of secondary technical schools - are enrolled in the course.
The centre will train the young people, who will receive a regular salary, learning practical skills four days per week with one day for theoretical knowledge. The students will learn German and English as part of the course. Both years of education will end with exams, and the first year’s exam will make up 40 percent of the final evaluation. After the students complete the course, they will find positions in specific departments of the car plant.
“By creating the Centre for Dual Education and launching the programme Mechatronic, we bring to the country the most up-to-date education processes proven as good in the German dual system,” said Wilfried von Rath, member of the board of VW SK. He highlighted that while in Slovakia, 34 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 are unemployed, in Germany that number is only 8 percent.
VW Slovakia, which invested €1 million into the centre, plans to launch courses for other professions as well.
23. Sep 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff