Short courses, within 6-7 days of training of the technicians and engineers employed in the companies working in the sectors of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, are developed by partners from four countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Poland and Serbia. By the end of March, the training courses, 14 in total – 6 for engineers and 8 for technicians, are expected to be finalized, said Katya Staykova, Executive Director of “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone”.
The project “Community for raising the qualification of engineering and technical staff through active learning” (allCUTE), № 2020-1-BG01-KA202-079042, under the ERASMUS + program, involves 4 universities offering engineering training (Technical University – Gabrovo, Hellenic International University, Politechnika Gdanska, University of Nis), 4 Chambers of Commerce and Industry from Gabrovo, Kavala, Gdansk and Nis, and “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone”. The goal is for the companies to improve their skills, to increase the qualification of their company staff, explains Staykova.
She added that the curriculum is based on the results of a survey conducted among 161 companies in the above sectors in the following European regions: Gabrovo and Plovdiv – Bulgaria, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace – Greece, Pomeranian Voivodeship – Poland, Nis – Serbia. According to the analysis of the survey, employers prioritize 8 courses for technicians who are included in the curriculum: Electricity; Electric drives; Pneumatics and electropneumatics; Hydraulics; Vacuum and vacuum technologies; Optimal use of compressed air; Operation and adjustment of CNC machines and Operation of automated production systems.
The 6 courses for engineers are respectively: Basic schemes in automated pneumatic systems; Energy efficiency in pneumatic systems; Hydraulics, proportional hydraulics; Electric drives, complex electric drives; Automated Production Systems and Quality Assurance, Quality Control and Testing.
Katya Staykova believes that the implementation of this project will be extremely beneficial both for the companies in the Trakia Economic Zone and for new investors in the largest industrial zone in Southeast Europe. Moreover, the creation of educational resources is based on transnational cooperation and combines knowledge and skills in the sectors of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics of 4 countries. According to the Deputy Dean of the Technical Faculty of the University of Food Technology – Plovdiv Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tanya Titova-Kosturkova, who is part of the team developing the courses, the curriculum will be very useful for target groups in terms of both professional and of soft skills.
At the second transnational partnership meeting on the project, held late last year in Nis, Serbia, the course creators conducted an alpha test of the Active Learning Platform by introducing engineering problems and developed assessment forms, recalls Irena Rashkova, project coordinator from the Technical University of Gabrovo. After the official closing of the meeting, all partners visited the Science and Technology Park in Nis to get acquainted with its activities and business initiatives of its members – startup and scalable companies. Opportunities for future cooperation between technology parks, businesses and universities in the partner countries were discussed.