Summary of the Strategic Partnership project first Transnational Partner Meeting
6 October 2021
The next speaker was Krisztina Kun, career counsellor of the Heves County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who gave her presentation on the Chamber’s career guidance work. As the Chamber is primarily in contact with companies, it tries to introduce young people to different professions. This is a difficult task as VET is in a constant state of change. Like the Educational Service, the Chamber is in daily contact with numerous authorities, offices and centres dealing with career guidance. The Heves County Chamber of Commerce and Industry organises numerous programmes every year, the main aim of which is to increase knowledge about career planning. It strives to give young people an up-close, interactive experience of the world of work through company visits. Counselling also takes place during parents’ evenings and homeroom classes, where a clear trend emerges: students in rural areas are increasingly opting for a profession, while those living in urban areas tend to go to grammar schools. Throughout the summer, job fairs are organised for young job seekers and interested children can participate in career camps. The Chamber also participates in the nationwide Researchers’ Night, an interactive programme with company visits that introduces secondary school students to different professions. Through various university programmes, students get an insight into the world of companies and universities, with a focus on dual education. In dual training, students work in companies during their studies. Another programme is the visit of students to the companies located in Heves County, in which students from the universities of Miskolc and Debrecen have participated for several years. The main goal of this programme is to encourage students to find a job in a company based in Heves County after graduation. Krisztina pointed out the importance of the media, which plays a crucial role in reaching out to young people. One way of doing this, for example, was to encourage young people to make career guidance films so that other students could get an insight into how a profession works from their perspective. On the other hand, it is also important to maintain contact with parents, as they have the greatest influence on their children’s career choice, but it is generally true that parents do not have enough knowledge in this respect, so providing information is an important task of the Chamber.
The next speakers were Katalin Gyenesné Sági and Adrienn Kriston from the HR Department of EMERSON Automation FCP Kft. Katalin spoke about the history of Emerson and its position in Hungary. The company is active in the field of pneumatic applications used in a wide range of industries. In their career guidance programmes, they explain these applications using examples from everyday life, which makes it much easier for students to understand how these applications work. Emerson also makes parts used in bus doors, for example. Adrienn explained the term STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, whose mission is to make the world of engineering and technology accessible to all. STEM activities at Emerson are based on five pillars: career guidance for young people, university career guidance, internal development activities, community activities and marketing activities. This is how they can organise company visits, for example. EMERSON has been in close contact with the schools and universities in Heves County for years, and through the STEM programme they can carry out this task in a more regulated way. Through the company's dual apprenticeship programme, EMERSON is able to employ many students each year in machining, CNC programming and mechanical engineering, Adrienn said. Special attention is paid to students of technical as well as business study programmes who are employed by the company within the framework of dual training. Not only boys, but also girls are welcome, who are motivated to get involved in the world of technology through various programmes. Due to the pandemic, this time there were also online presentations and online company visits. Adrienn also spoke about the Pneumobil competition, which has been held for 15 years for university students from Hungary and abroad. The competition is about participants building a vehicle powered by compressed air over the course of a year and gaining valuable experience in the process.
Summary of the second day
7 October 2021
The second day of the Strategic Partnership project partners’ meeting was opened by Renáta Nagy, the dual training advisor of the Heves County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, one of the professional implementers of the project. Renáta pointed out that the next partner meeting will take place in Slovakia in December 2021, while the third partner meeting will be held in Vienna at the end of March 2022. The first speaker was Lilla Becsei, lecturer at Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, who teaches career guidance and counselling. The title of her presentation was: Labour market competences - the multi-layered representation of human values in employment. Lilla spoke about global trends focusing on future technological expectations related to the labour market, demographic trends and environmental impacts. These are heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept the world under control for two years now. The Future of Jobs 2020 report makes it possible to forecast the changes in the labour market between 2020 and 2025 in a mathematical-statistical framework. Industry 4.0 has brought about new production processes, which means that new solutions must be found for human skills that are difficult to replace. One of the consequences of the changes in the labour market is that the demand for unskilled labour will continue to fall, pushing blue-collar and semi-skilled workers out of the labour market. At the same time, digitalisation and the increasingly falling prices of technical devices prompt employers to encourage their employees to use these tools, which will lead to an expansion of flexible working. Studies show that by 2050 there will be a massive ageing of society in countries around the world, which can only be cushioned by a corresponding reservoir of labour. In this respect, India and Nigeria will lead the way by the end of the century. The increasing prevalence of mobile working in the wake of the pandemic has once again demonstrated the importance of digitalisation, but also its downsides, which many employers have struggled to overcome. In this context, the demand for online learning and training has also increased. The aforementioned report shows that the state is playing an increasingly important role in shaping online training. As for the digital skills, half of the employees will have to participate in retraining. Global trends are also strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities, which push the issues of water management, the situation of agriculture and, in connection with this, the labour force into focus. In the second half of the presentation, a diagram was used to illustrate the extent to which the work done by humans and machines will change between 2020 and 2025. According to a report by Eurofound and Cedefop, the best solution is to increase employees’ responsibility, but this can only be achieved tension-free through organisational restructuring. A table was used to illustrate the 15 qualifications that will be most in demand in the next 5 years. These skills are weak in students and employees, but can be easily developed through practical work. Young people must be supported in choosing exactly the training that suits them best. Vocational guidance for children and adults is not conceivable without the involvement of companies, organisations and schools, and they need to be familiar with the knowledge of how to shape a professional career.
The next speaker was Szilvia Ózsvári Kovácsné, HR Manager of SBS Kft. At the beginning of her presentation, she showed a video about her company’s activities and then gave a practical insight into the career guidance and VET currently available at SBS Kft. It all started 12 years ago with the training of 8 locksmiths. Over the years, the number of participants has steadily increased thanks to the qualified trainers and the well-equipped workshop. Currently, 42 students are being trained in 4 trades (building fitter, welder, lathe operator and mechanical technician), Szilvia said. In the summer, they are joined by logisticians who complete their training at the company. SBS Kft. has a positive attitude towards trainees, treating them as future professionals and hiring them after graduation to curb the tendency for graduates to work abroad. Their future goals are to increase the number of students involved, and to introduce more professions: electrician, vehicle polisher and robot programmer. The company has been running a mentoring programme for several years, offering students an employment contract after their final exams and involving them in the final semester. Other elements of the mentoring programme include visits to schools to introduce the company, company visits and programmes for the families involved. The Heves County Chamber of Commerce and Industry organises a Career Guidance Day every year, as well as the ‘Modern Gyárak Éjszakája’ (Modern Factory Night) and the ‘Modern Mintaüzem’ (Modern Showcase Factory) programme. And this autumn, career presentations will be offered to high school graduates who want to pursue a technical career. It is thanks to these programmes, among others, that more and more students choose the company as their training place, and cooperation is also helped by the fact that the company management supports all VET efforts.
As a conclusion, it can be said that HKIK is in close contact with all organisations. We often organise joint programmes where everyone contributes their own resources to the vocational guidance. In Hungary, several organisations with different profiles can provide career guidance with legal authorisation. HKIK considers business involvement to be most important in this work as we believe that companies are most likely to know what they need most and to be able to communicate career planning knowledge in the most authentic way. We do our best to organise many interactive programmes where students can try out the work processes.