The Qualification Center becomes a warm connection between education and business

The Qualification Center becomes a warm connection between education and business

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Name: Kremena Daneva  

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The lack of staff accelerates the dialogue between companies with vocational high schools and universities

Nearly 300 workers from enterprises opened in the Trakia Economic Zone will be qualified and retrained at the beginning of the new year in the first Vocational Training Center in Bulgaria close to Rakovski. Its capacity is 1000 people. The estimates are that in the first year of the center’s existence, about 600 workers from the companies will be trained.

“The benefit for the companies in the region is great, but the success has also been achieved for the higher schools that are engaged in the training of the staff”, said Plamen Panchev, Executive Director of Trakia Economic Zone.

Why are the business and the education so difficult to get together so far, and what is the way to bring them together?

The lectors of the University of Food Technology have developed special programs for students. The recent Deputy rector of the University of Food Technology – Prof. Nikolay Menkov, notes that the development of flexible training programs, which have not been done in our country so far, has led to the destruction of many stereotypes.

Thus, without disrupting the normal work and study process at the university, lectors and doctoral students, mainly in the technical specialties, are already lecture at the Vocational Training Center.

The training will cover both lower levels in companies and job desks, vocational high schools, students and engineering staff, explains Prof. Menkov, who says the business is already aware that a lack of manpower is a hindrance to business. “The Business is now ripe to invest in education”, he said.

“The workforce situation, on the one hand, is very bad. On the other hand, this position must be used for interaction between business and universities”, said the university professor.

“We have good contacts with 7 vocational high schools in the region”, confirms Plamen Panchev, Executive Director of Trakia Economic Zone.

One of the big companies has invited representatives from its subsidiaries in other European countries, where such a model is a well-established practice, he adds. “It was difficult for the business to believe that it would happen, but we succeeded”.

Among the more ambitious goals for the Vocational Training Center qualification are returning programs for Bulgarians working in agriculture in neighboring countries, says Plamen Panchev. “Coming here, getting a profession that has good pay, to work in Bulgaria already”.