In September 2013, 15 German-owned companies, mainly car components manufacturers, stated their commitment to train, by a school-company collaboration, 213 students aged 15 to 16 in vocational schools. For 2 years, students attend the theoretical courses on technical professions, such as electromechanical worker, CNC operator or die-maker and practice what they learn at the partner companies. Then, a more serious training is provided, with the companies’ active involvement in the students’ learning process. In the first year of study, practice does not exceed 60%, while in the second year it is no more than 75%. After gaining sufficient experience, the students are then involved in the production process.
After two years, in the summer of 2015, 188 of the 213 students graduated the vocational school and got a qualification degree. Approximately 170 of them now work in the companies in which they were trained.
“This means that 90% of them were employed! They are young people of 17 or 18 who have a secure job and the employers of whom are very content because they acquired from the very beginning of their training the competences necessary to make them operational from their first day of work. Some German companies trained and employed as much as 60 students. We believe that vocational education is starting to produce palpable results.” Sebastian Metz, General Manager of the Romanian - German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The representatives of the German companies involved are also content with this education system: “This professional training is very profitable for us, as employer, because we train our future employees for the jobs our company needs” a representative of a German company from Brasov states.
The success is brought by many factors, but the most important of them is the active involvement of companies in the education process.
The contribute to the equipment of laboratories and workshops in the school, provide financial support to students during their time in school, organize and guide specialized practice in each company and, in most of the cases, employ the students once they graduate.
The second determinant of the success of these companies is, in many cases, the good relation with the local authorities which, by renovating and equipping classrooms and also by maintaining an open attitude for this type of education, proved to be an important actor in the development of the vocational training system.
German companies actively contribute to the development of this system. The graduates of these vocational schools are trained at the level of the company’s requirements, and the company strives to increase the professional training level from one year to another. In most of the cases, the employment of graduates is conditioned by the latter’s training level, the way in which they got accustomed to the company’s specificity and requirements.
Surely, the system if far from perfect, and the German employers emphasize the fact that efforts still need to be taken to increase the quality of this type of professional training and to ensure success conditions for all the companies involved in vocational education.
The following critical elements should be considered for this: updating the curricula for the various qualifications, permanent training of teachers, more thorough graduation exams and certification at national level, equipping schools, increase of information concerning vocational education, permanent adjustment to the market’s demands and the control of the companies involved in vocational education.
AHK Romania provides information and counselling services concerning vocational education in Romania and dual education in Germany, courses and certification based on German standards to all the trainers in a company, organization of complete professional training projects. Furthermore, it cooperates closely with the state institutions in Romania and Germany for the improvement of vocational education in Romania.
On the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
The Romanian and German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania) officially represents the German economy and is the largest bilateral Chamber of Commerce in Romania. Created in 2002, AHK Romania currently has more than 530 member companies. Through its services and events, AHK Romania supports German companies upon their entry on the Romanian market and is also a competent partner for Romania companies interested in the German market. AHK Romania is actively involved in the implementation of the dual education system based on the German model and provides a GreenTech platform and has its own Arbitration Court.