On 19 March 2013, a working group to support technical education met in Pilsen. The group was made up of representatives of the Technical Initiative Pilsen (‘TIP’) and TEO – The Association for the Development of Technical Vocational Education and the Development of Human Resources in the Tachov Region (‘TEO’).
Representatives of the companies SWA, GRAMMER CZ, EvoBus, Gerresheimer Horsovsky Tyn and Blue Projects Agency took part in the meeting for TIP, while representatives of the companies Kermi, IDEAL AUTOMOTIVE Bor and GRAMMER CZ took part for TEO.
The working group decided upon the following nine recommendations for working together in supporting education in technical fields.
1. Establish co-operation with specific schools in the local region
The idea is to establish working partnerships with schools (particularly elementary schools and technical secondary schools) close by member businesses, with each company maintaining at least one partnership.
Companies will regularly prepare and update the ideal profiles of alumni who can find work with them. They will also prepare and update forecasts – numbers of secondary school/university alumni which they will require on the jobs market in future years. This information will be updated by the companies and published and publicised together.
Companies will systematically provide theses and other work for students of technical universities.
2. Hold co-ordinated open days
Member companies of both associations will hold joint open days, with an open day occurring once a year for the general public (1 June) and once a year for schools only (first and second weeks in February). The dates of these events will be the same for all members. Members will be open to any other technology companies who join their initiative.
3. Find and support young technicians
The aim of this activity is to promote the technology around us including within individual businesses, and arouse interest in technology amongst young people. The tool for achieving the activity goals will be the holding of competitions by each member company in order to promote technology and technical fields by ‘young technicians’ themselves amongst their peers. If the initiative develops successfully, a joint awards ceremony or other suitable act of recognition will be held for the winners.
4. Show technology to young technicians at the right time at the right place
The aim of this recommendation is to help individual schools or school clubs to support and develop technical talent amongst children and young people. Member companies will support the acquisition of appropriate technical toys and aids in learning and play. Suitable examples include:
- the use of a themed ‘case’ full of objects fitting into various technical topics – conquering space, mechanics, optical effects, etc.
- the use of Merkur construction sets,
- the use of Lego construction sets.
5. Promote the idea of technology and engineering as a field with good prospects
Member companies support the creation and publication of templates for simple promotional materials which can be printed or produced by any member or non-member company. In so doing, anyone anywhere will be able to promote an interest in technology and engineering as their resources allow. The aim is that simple posters and messages can be used and printed easily using colour printers. Another aim of this activity is to bring together the means for implementing an extensive media campaign focused on the general public.
6. Support the use of electronic textbooks
This initiative of members of both associations will aim to support the creation of electronic textbooks, and their use in schools.
7. Support the reinvigoration of infrastructure for technical clubs and hobbies
The aim of this activity is to develop and support gifted, technically talented children through support for the creation of technical clubs and technically-oriented hobbies. Member companies will strive to map current infrastructure, both those in use and not in use, in their region and support their renewal and operation.
8. Prepare opportunities in the form of internships and work experience for apprentices, secondary school and university students
The aim here is to provide students and graduates with work experience so that over a certain period they systematically undertake practical activities in a working business. The aim is for students and graduates to acquire experience, with the possibility of a future job contract between the intern and the business.
9. Award company bursaries to secondary school and university students
Here, the aim is to support students of technical fields in their studies, thus committing them to remain employed by the business supporting them in their studies.
These nine recommendations aim to inspire member and non-member companies in their efforts to promote an interest in studying technical subjects amongst young people. It strives to draw areas of operation together and minimise costs.