On the initiative of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, supported by the project “Education for Employment in North Macedonia”, a working meeting was organized on: “Mentor Program in Companies”. It was attended by representatives from the Vocational Education and Training Center, the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET), the Ministry of Education and Science, the Organization of Employers in Macedonia, business community representatives as well as representatives from the Chambers and the Project Implementation Unit of the project Education for Employment in North Macedonia.
Dual education is not just an increase in the number of practical classes, it is also a concept of active cooperation among the companies and the vocational schools in the form of public-private partnerships where companies participate in curriculum development, delivery of the educational process and transfer of the vocational competences to the students.
The Swiss system of dual education with special emphasis on work-based learning was introduced to the participants. Marina Grolimund, an expert at the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET), emphasized that Switzerland has a long tradition of involving companies in the educational processes from the aspect of the benefits that companies gain in terms of securing qualifying workforce as well as reputation of the company itself. She also presented how a 40-hour Mentor Program in Switzerland has been implemented and equips the future mentor with knowledge and skills needed to work with a student through specialized didactic training that includes, inter alia, knowledge of the legislative regulations in the field of vocational education and training.
Emanuel Wϋthrich, an expert from SFIVET, spoke about the situation-based didactic approach, pointing out that in the course of our work we are faced with many work situations that require a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes to successfully handle these tasks. For each profession, these job situations are analyzed and incorporated into program curricula in a way that provides market-oriented programs.
This meeting was preceded by a series of workshops, forums and working groups in which the Economic Chamber of Macedonia is actively involved in promoting work-based learning and dual education in order to balance the supply and demand of skilled and qualified personnel. The Chamber, as the oldest and most numerous business association, supports and promotes activities aimed at creating an educational system that responds to the demands and needs of the real sector.