Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Csongrád County

Success Stories / Case Study

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Csongrád County – CSMKIK

Dual education model transfer with the help of EU project

It is important to quickly respond to changes

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Csongrad County has more than 1200 members from within the trade, industry and crafts sectors. Its most important task is to support representatives in the business sector by providing economic forecasts and analyses, improving the business environment, building reliable business relations and coordinating tasks within the vocational education and training sector. Our Chamber hosts the Enterprise Europe Network, the only network in the European Commission to support SMEs. The Chamber’s educational directorate is responsible for the implementation of public tasks connected with vocational training. This directorate coordinates the placement of apprentices within companies which provide practical training. It also supervises and certifies these training places.

In 2011, the Hungarian Government set the goal of remodelling vocational training on the basis of the German dual structural model, meaning combining apprenticeships within a company with vocational education in a vocational school. The Chamber was faced with the fact that companies were neither ready for these changes, nor were they technically adequately prepared. They simply did not know how to deal with this new situation.

Prompt reaction from the Chamber to support SMEs

Since one of the Chamber’s most important tasks is integrating the most up-to-date knowledge into local vocational education, we decided to tackle this problem by submitting a Leonardo da Vinci mobility project within the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme. Our aim in so doing was to enable the mobility of 24 representatives from companies which offer practical training possibilities for apprentices in the form of a one week long study trip to Germany.

The concrete aim of the trip was to get a better insight into the German dual education system as a model to be adapted in Hungary, to figure out innovate organisational solutions and to examine how they could be adapted to our needs. During the professional trip, participants had the chance to see how the German dual education worked in real life settings. Participants learnt about German adult education, visited a school workshop, saw several innovative methods for theoretical and practical learning processes and met companies which were actively involved in providing practical vocational training to apprentices.

The tangible effects of an education model transfer

As a result of this mobility the Hungarian companies which took part in the study trip started to implement the German good practices in their everyday practical teaching activities. Furthermore, as prominent representatives of their vocations, they began to act as multipliers within their own field. By adapting the German model to conditions in Hungary, the quality and quantity of the practical training increased in the county. The practical orientation of the vocational educational system has thereby been increased, as has also the number of companies which are actively taking part in the practical training of apprentices.

Europeanisation leads to success

“Thanks to the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, we have succeeded in experiencing and exchanging good practices, and these experiences have had a great effect on the companies which are actively working within the given industrial sector. Company representatives would not have been able to see and experience all these professional and innovative solutions by themselves without the organised approach that the project ensured. We believe that this unique opportunity benefitted all of us, not just the entrepreneurs who participated, but also the learners and the county in general, since apprentices are very often offered employment in exactly the same company in which they spent their apprenticeship. In this way, the employer can get to know the employee early on, and the rate of unemployment will also be decreased in the long run.”- said the project manager of the Chamber.