R&M is taking an active role in promoting the vocational education system in Bulgaria. In September 2017, five young people will embark on an electromechanical engineering apprenticeship program with the company. Alongside their work, they will receive accompanying education at the “Mechanoelectrotechnical school Nikola Vaptsarov” in Sofia. R&M is a globally active developer and provider of connectivity systems for high-quality network infrastructures. It is an independent family business with Headquarters in Wetzikon, Switzerland. In 2011, it opened its own factory in Sofia to develop and manufacture fiber optic cabling systems.
Over the last two years, Bulgaria has been reforming its education system in line with the Swiss model. The aim of these reforms is 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. The dual-track system combines teaching at a vocational college with practical education within a company. Switzerland has been supporting the DOMINO project for over five years and has invested CHF 3.5 million. The name DOMINO is an abbreviation of the Bulgarian for: "Dual-track education system to meet the demands and requirements of today's society." To date more than 60 companies have agreed to offer placements and the necessary support structures.
R&M has supported the project from the pilot phase, back in the summer of 2016, when it signed an education agreement with the Nikola Vaptsarov Vocational School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Sofia. The Bulgarian President at the time, Rosen Plevneliev, was in attendance when the program was first launched. In January 2016, a delegation from the Bulgarian parliament visited Switzerland, also the R&M Headquarters and was provided extensive information about the dual-track system. Now the time has come for the first five students to start their vocational training with R&M in Bulgaria. Experienced mentors will be assisting the apprentices throughout the program.
In addition R&M has launched an internship program designed to attract four ambitious graduates from Bulgarian universities. interns will spend six months getting to learn about product development, production engineering and human resources, before finishing their internship with a case study.