Switzerland’s dual vocational training system is unique in the world and is held in high regard both in Switzerland and abroad. Education takes place in two learning contexts: in the workplace and at vocational colleges. This system prepares apprentices for their professional careers in a comprehensive and practice-oriented manner.
From 2015, Bulgaria has been reforming its education system in line with the Swiss model, to establish the Swiss dual-track system across the country and thereby ensure young people can develop the specialist skills they need in today’s employment market and economy, for at least ten different professions. It is also a matter of combating high youth unemployment. The project was started under the name DOMINO (dual education for the modern requirements and needs of society). The Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, who are responsible for the program, receive active support from the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training and the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Bulgarian parliament delegations visited Swiss Industrial Companies, including R&M’s Headquarters in Wetzikon, several times to find out more about this subject.
For many years, R&M has been training apprentices in various professional fields at its Headquarters, like most companies in Switzerland do. The possibility of implementing the dual education system in Bulgaria, too, was well-received. In September 2016, four young people have embarked on an electromechanical engineering apprenticeship program with R&M that lasted four years. Alongside their work, they received accompanying education at N.Y. Vaptsarov Highschool in Sofia.
Successful first apprenticeship completions
In August 2020, R&M Bulgaria Production has proudly handed out certificates to the students who have successfully completed their DOMINO education. A memorable moment. The students underwent their professional apprenticeships at R&M during their education in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, and practical activities were held in the company. All students are graduates of N.J. Vaptsarov Vocational High School for Mechanics and Electrotechnics in Sofia, with the specialty «Electrical Equipment of Production». During their training period, the apprentices were able to develop a strong connection to practice and gained a lot of professional experience. Keeping the young professionals in the company and building the skilled workforce of tomorrow are declared goals of the program.
R&M Bulgaria Production is currently preparing for the next DOMINO course, which is scheduled to start in fall 2020. Once again, young talents are to be given the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship in the same field and scope at R&M Bulgaria Production.