In July 2014, Automobile Dacia, the Argeș County School Inspectorate and the Mioveni Town Hall signed a partnership for the setting up and support of vocational training classes in the field of mechanics, and tool and die making at the Mioveni Automotive Construction and Technology High School.
This partnership is aimed at ensuring cooperation between Dacia and the Mioveni Automotive Construction and Technology High School for school activities and practical vocational training. Dacia supports two classes of tool and die makers: a 9th grade with 14 students (to graduate in 2017), and a 10th grade with 28 students (to graduate in 2016). The 42 students benefit from combined theoretical and practical training, the latter being conducted on Dacia’s industrial site in Mioveni. Dacia grants performance-based monthly scholarships that amount to 200 lei/apprentice. Moreover, the students benefit from free transportation, lunch and protective equipment, all provided by Dacia. Graduates of these classes will be eligible for employment at Dacia, matching the company’s needs.
“In the past, Romania had numerous vocational schools that trained generations of workers specialized in various fields. These schools are now gone and, with them, activities the economy needs. Renault Romania Group has a long tradition in internship pro- grams catered for bachelor and master’s students, and now we take a further step, to support vocational schools. We are partners with the Mioveni Automotive Construction and Technology High School and we work together to adjust the school curriculum, to create classes specialized in mechanics and tool and die making, and to organize internship programs on the industrial site. We need improved coordination between theory and practice in vocational training, and we are happy to have this partnership in Mioveni, right at the gate of our plants”. Nicolas Maure, CEO Dacia and GM Renault Romania
Tool and die making is a niche activity at Dacia, to be found mostly at Stamping Tools Dacia, at Dacia Car Plant (Stamping Shop) and at Dacia Powertrain Plant (Aluminum Casting Shop). Dacia has the only unit specialized in the design and manufacturing of dies in the Renault Group worldwide, which makes it critical to attract and develop such competencies within the company. Besides the tool- and die making classes, Dacia supports the Mioveni Automotive Construction and Technology High School by donating technical means: machinery and equipment. Moreover, specialists at Dacia-Renault tutor the students and help adjust the curriculum to facilitate acquisition of automotive skills.
In January and February 2015, the students went in their first internship at Dacia. The tutors involved them in manufacturing processes at Dacia Stamping Tools (Pite[ti) and on the Mioveni industrial site, at the two plants. “Not everyone has this chance”, says Radu Ungureanu, 10th grader, who is doing his internship at Stamping Tools Dacia. Ever since his 6th grade, Radu wanted to become an automotive tool and die maker to honor the family tradition, and dreams to be “one day, tool and die maker at Dacia”.
Alin Bosoroaga, 9th grader, admits being fascinated. He knew little of the practical part, and the experience in the Stamping Shop at Dacia Car Plant completes his understanding of the theoretical notions: “I’ve learned to use the biax (a special die making tool) in a very short time". Of the 42 students enrolled in these tool and die making classes, 12 are girls.
Ana Maria Calugarescu, 9th grader learned at the Dacia Powertrain Plant about “basic locksmith operations that any tool maker should master: filling, mechanical sawing, grinding, bi-axing (with a biax), calliper measuring”.
Eugen Tirmes, General Manager at Dacia Stamping Tool, pointed out that “die making is a little known activity. The manufacturing of a car begins with turning metal sheets into bodywork parts. In order to do this, we use the dies equipping the presses in the Stamping Shop”. Building a die is a complicated process which requires many well trained staff. Mr. }irme[ was very glad to hear about this partnership, but stresses that “vocational training needs better coordination between theory and practice. I hope the best of them will one day contribute to the success of the Dacia brand.” Elena Florea, a teacher at Mioveni Automotive Construction and Technology High School, closely follows the students’ activities and their results – both within the high school and at the Dacia plants, where she cooperates with the respective tutors and specialists. Ms. Florea says that the internship programs made students “become more receptive, disciplined and eager to receive new information. They were most impressed with the discipline in the factory and with occupational safety rules”.
The first year of the partnership turned out to be a success and a first step towards new cooperation opportunities between Renault Romania and secondary education, in particular, vocational education.