Kragujevac:Ten young trainees finished their training for welders-locksmiths in AMM Manufacturing company in the “Mind park“, Kragujevac. Božidar Nikolić from Rača near Kragujevac was one of them. He crowned his successful training within the “Education to Employment” programme by establishing employment in this company. His steps are now followed by further 20 trainees who are learning this craft from the best workers working in the production of components for rail vehicles.
Božidar Nikolić, who is 20, learnt the welding ABC at the training, and he is writing this ABC in the steel when producing passenger railcars and tramcars.
Retraining helps you finding a job sooner
“After I finished secondary school, I have worked only for five months – as a transportation worker. I could not find a job in my profession. I am electric technician for computers“, Božidar said. He decided to replace the profession for which he went to school with a craft which is now “better valued”.
He applied for the training for welders – locksmiths as it was suggested to him by his brother who is already holding that work position in AMM Manufacturing company.
“I heard that this job is paid well. At first it was that but now, during the training, I was attracted to that job. I have never welded before. Luckily, I was good at it. I got to like this job very quickly and, when you love to do something, then you are good at it. I was persistent. Day-in day-out I was learning more and making a good progress“, Boža described the beginnings of his training.
He said that it was not easy during those first days, mostly because your eyes need to get used to welding. However, he did not find the training to be hard because, as he said, ‘secrets’ of the job was revealed to him by teachers – Radiša Rakić and Nikola Jovanović from AMM manufacturing company.
“My first encounter with the welding machine was quite weird. I needed to learn how to hold a burner, the position of my hand, how to make a weld. I was not successful that first time, I even thought that this is not ‘my thing’. But teacher Radiša Rakić told me to go slowly and to be patient. He is a very good teacher; he explained everything very well. And he treated all of us, the trainees, as if we were his children“, Boža recalled.
He is satisfied that he learnt MIG welding, for which he underwent the training, in modern environment and with the state-of-art machines.
The same as all trainees in his group, Boža underwent the assessment of his progress at the training. First, after he completed the one-week theoretical training, he had an exam. Then, in the end of the on-the-job training, he had a final test. He said that that was quite a challenge.
“We were welding on the panels of different widths, on the same ones on which we practiced during the training. Then the controllers reviewed what we did. Visual and ultrasound checks were made to see whether the weld is good, and whether it is nice-looking“, he said.
Boža said that he passed all the test the first time he tried. That was what recommended him to stay in that work position in the company, in addition to the commitment and persistence he showed during the training.
“It is a very good feeling – to have a job. I wanted to work at this very place. Nothing is hard for me. We work in shifts, the first shift is from 7.00 to 15.00, and the second from 15.00 to 23.00“, Boža said.
Now he is working in “Avenio“ hall where thin steel plates are welded. He said, this is a sophisticated task and he still needs to work a lot to be perfect in it.
Boža knows that he now has a craft which is in demand internationally but claims that he is not thinking about leaving the country since he sees his future in his birth-place.
Welders obtain certificates that are applicable all over the world
Training of young people to become welders in AMM Manufacturing company is implemented under the watchful eyes of seven mentors. The oldest and most experienced among them, Radiša Rakić, is called ‘the teacher’ by his trainees. He said that Boža was the best one in the first group of trainees under the “Education to Employment” programme and that he had all the characteristics to have the ‘entrance ticket’ for the work position in a large company.
“He was the best, primarily as a human being, and then he also acquired the welding knowledge. He is a people person – he helps others. He is hardworking and responsible“, – this is how Rakić ‘the teacher’ described Boža.
These words surely mean a lot, considering they come from the person with the longest experience in training of young welders.
“I have done the same job for 46 years in Goša Institute and I continued with it these past three years in AMM Manufacturing company. So far, I have trained more than 5,300 welders“, Rakić said.
He said that it is most important for a young worker to be ‘a good man’, to think solidly and maturely. Only then successful training for welders is taken into account. This is a job which takes years to learn perfectly.
Radiša speaks highly of young trainees under the “Education to Employment” programme. He says that they will be the ones who will ‘carry this company’s operation on their shoulders’ one day, adding that ‘you can do anything when you are young’.
“In this job you need to be highly focused, to have sharp eyes and steady hands. Then you would have no problems at all. Welding is an art – melted material should be shaped so as to be at the same time homogenous and look nice visually. And you need to do all that swiftly, in the blink of an eye“, Radiša Rakić said.
Certificate that is applicable all over the world serves to confirm that the trainees have acquired necessary skills during the training. The test that the first group of trainees took in the end of the training was the test in accordance with 9606-1 standard.
He said that the welder’s job is now gentleman’s work, if you compare it with what it was like 40 years ago.
“We have modern equipment and programmes which make our job easier. When you learn all that, welding is easy“, Rakić said.
Radiša recommends this job to young people because they can find employment quickly and in good companies, they can earn well, and can develop professionally. He said that AMM Manufacturing company needs at least 150 welders more. They need high-quality staff to produce railcars which are sent from Kragujevac to all parts of the world.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: Following the “Education to Employment” training for nursery teachers, 17 trainees got a job in Kragujevac nursery schools.
While tiny little boys and girls are sleeping, nursery school “Drugarstvo“ (Serbian word for ‘comradery’) witnesses the unravelling of a story about two Draganas and one Marko, young people who decided to become nursery teachers. They met at the on-the-job training for nursery teachers within the “Education to Employment” programme and now they are sharing the task of taking care of children in nursery school “Drugarstvo“. Dragana Čampar got her first job after this two-month on-the-job training. Before that she had 6 years of uncertainty. Along with employment, her friend Marko Stepanović also got a chance to upgrade his knowledge in his original profession. The youngest among them, Dragana Nikolić, is still a trainee but she is confident that she is going in the right direction and that she will be writing first pages of her career book in a nursery school.
On-the-job training elevated the ‘academic’ knowledge
Marko Stepanović (30) is a graduated pre-school teacher. He said that he has dreamt about this job ever since he was in primary school. Although he did have a dilemma in secondary school – because of the English language. However, his love for children prevailed.
“The children from “Drugarstvo” call me Mako. They are used to me. It looks like I have, as they say, ‘bought’ their trust.“
The “Education to Employment” training in nursery school “Drugarstvo“ meant a double win for me. first, I improved the knowledge and skills which I already had. And second, I signed the employment contract after I finished the training.
“I previously had four years of experience as a nursery teacher in other nursery schools. I came here for additional training and my expectations are absolutely fulfilled. I learnt many new things.“
Discovered difference between the university theory and nursery school practice.
“Only 30 or so percent of the theory acquired in formal education is actually applied. At the university we hardly ever had practical training, only for two weeks a year. We were only observers; we were not involved in the activities of nursery teachers; we were only helping them. It is absolutely different in the “Education to Employment” programme. During the on-the-job training, we were everyday involved in the activities with children.“
Marko particularly highlights that the “Education to Employment” programme offers practical training about pedagogical documentation in nursery school, including the log. During his studies he did not have access to a log and the only thing he knew about it was that it is ‘a blue book’.“
“I was to allowed access to a log, and then, later, when I worked in a state-owned nursery school, I got a log but did not know what I was supposed to enter into it. I resolved that problem with the “Education to Employment” training for nursery teachers.“
In nursery school “Drugarstvo“, Marko leads a mixed group of children between three and five years of age. He is particularly proud of the fact that he was fully entrusted the leadership of the development planning team and that he is a member is further two teams in the nursery school.
His contribution was particularly great with regard to his contribution in the development of a collection of cooperative games which has become the ‘standard’ and provide great help for daily work of nursery teachers in nursery school “Drugarstvo“.
“These are cooperative games in which all kids take part. We have some 30 games in this collection and we apply them in our daily work.“
Moreover, Marko is the only man nursery teacher in nursery school “Drugarstvo“. He said that he faces no problems at all because everybody is now used to him, both his co-workers and the kids.
First job after six years of uncertainty
When Dragana Čampar from Prijepolje finished her studies for a nursery teacher in pre-school institutions at the Teachers’ Faculty in Belgrade, she could have never imagined that she would be waiting six years for her first job. And she did try to get a job, she submitted her CV to nursery schools, but she was never invited for an interview.
“I had already begun to think that I would have to do something completely different. I imagined myself in a shop, at the supermarket.“
In the meantime, Dragana married in Kragujevac and she now a mother of two children. The road to her first job was ‘cleared’ by the training within the “Education to Employment” programme for which she learnt through the National Employment Service.
“The training meant a lot to me because I got to know the children, the nursery school, the staff. That was important to me because I had no work experience before.“
She said that practical experience in working with children within the training under the “Education to Employment” programme was ‘invaluable’.
“When we enter the group and remain alone with the children, we learn how to identify the needs of the children and what we are to do, and how. Reality is quite different from when you learn about everything from your textbooks at the university.“
She believes that she moved a great deal forward, compared to where she stood in the beginning of the training, primarily with regard to the organisation of work and in the activities with children.
Together with her co-worker Marko, Dragana takes care of a mixed group of children whose age is between 3 and 5. She said that she noticed that children mainly prefer to move – even when she is telling them a story, they like to be active and to take part. She said that children were given a role to play in the fable “The Fox and the Raven” – they were actors. They like to be active, even the shyest of children find a way to take part.
Dragana admits that, while working with children, she identified some hidden talents in herself.
“Acting was hiding in me. When some doll is somewhere near me, I relax immediately. And I like to sing. However, it seems to me that my ability to animate the children is my best asset.“
She said that children have accepted her and came to like her.
“My co-worker Marko and I complement each other – he is a bit stricter, and I am more indulgent.“
Persistence, motivation, and love for children
Dragana Nikolić (20) moved from Batočina to Kragujevac because of the on-the-job training under the “Education to Employment” programme in nursery school “Drugarstvo“. She has a diploma saying that she is a nurse – nursery teacher and almost everything she learns in the training is completely new for her. She says that she is trying very hard in the training and believes that she will make the employer’s criteria for the job.
“I have never had a job. Only for a couple of weeks I was on the probation in “Drugarstvo“. I was persistent, I was always here, inquiring, and they invited me for this training.“
So, what was the most important thing for her to adopt those first days on the on-the-job training?
“How to approach the children – that was most important for me, to learn how to accept children in the morning and how to approach a child. I see that I have adopted this skill well. I have a good relationship with children. I try hard.“
She finds the pedagogical documentation, the log, to be the hardest segment.
“Pedagogical documentation was the hardest! I have learnt a part of it, but I still need to work on it, with the help of my co-workers and mentors.“
Dragana describes a summer day which is a working day for participants of training for nursery teachers.
“My group consists of babies – children of up to 3 years of age. Today we were in the courtyard. We played movement games. Now the theme is summer, summer movement games, including, among others, Ringe-ringe-raja or Širi-se-širi.“
Dragana sees herself in the career of a nursery teacher.
“I think that everything is just fine, I have nothing to complain about. During the on-the-job training I fitted in fine, I would not change a single detail. Your job is not hard if you love it. You do anything and you are doing everything at that very moment. These are children, and children cannot wait “.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: After finishing the training within the “Education to Employment” project, Ana and Nemanja from Kragujevac found employment in the production of paper supplies.
Ana Marić and Nemanja Jovanović got employment with “Avis“, a company producing paper supplies. Since they are ‘freshly’ employed, they are put in charge of the packing machine which is lining up and counting the cardboard cups of bright colours and patterns.
They were offered to work in “Avis“ immediately after they finished two-month practical training for paper-producing machine operators, organised within the “Education to Employment” project in that company. Out of the total of 12 trainees, three proved to be the best and the employer offered them the opportunity to further learn and develop in the Avis team.
When work is genuine pleasure
Ana Marić (28) has started a family. She has a three-year old boy and, as she said, this employment came just when she needed it. She learnt about the “Education to Employment” training from a friend who knew that Ana needs a job urgently.
“I was in a chaos; I was looking for a job and I only wanted to work no matter what. My friend told me: Try, the duration of the training is two months and there is a chance that you will get a job.“
And Ana has gained an ‘abundance’ of experience in searching for a job in the past period.
“I am a garment pattern maker by profession. After I finished secondary school, I did various jobs. I had my own sewing business but I closed it; now it is only a hobby of mine. I also worked in a kindergarten as a nursery teacher. It was important for me to work… because of my family. But it was not easy.“
As a trainee at the training within the “Education to Employment” programme she came to “Avis“ to acquire knowledge and skills of a paper-producing machine operator.
“I liked everything there, it’s all super, I did not find it difficult at all. During the training I worked on different machines, first on a packing-machine, and I still work on it, these couple of days since I am officially employed with Avis. This is a packing-machine in which cardboard cups are packed and counted.“
Ana said that this job suits her, although it has nothing in common with her profession – fashion design.
“My friends do not believe me when I say that I go to work because they see me smiling both when I go to work and go back home. And I am smiling at work too. And I have an explanation for it. When it is important for you to work, a job suits you, and my fellow workers in Avis are polite and cheerful – then nothing is too hard for you, work is a genuine pleasure.“
Ana said that she hoped for a job in Avis while she was still undergoing the training.
“I was optimistic, I worked hard, the best I knew how. I had heard that this company values work, order, and discipline; that they respect you for making an effort and being a good worker. I knew that I would be able to stand out in that regard.“
Ana was the only woman among the trainees in Avis. She said that her mentors told her that she proved to be hard working, fast, and dextrous. She expects that she will be able to further develop professionally and she sees herself in some jobs which are, as she said, ‘made for women’.
“There are some jobs here which are ‘made for women’, such as the programme for children: little hats, lace, packaging for mignon cakes. I find it super. It is important to be fast – you pack, check, glue…
Chasing after a job, he arrived to “Avis“
Immediately after he finished his secondary school in which he acquired a diploma in mechatronics, Nemanja Jovanović (20) entered the ‘race’ to get a job as soon as possible. He had no luck with his profession and therefore worked in a petrol station, and he also had some jobs in carpentry and automotive industry. However, in the most recent period he did not have any luck in finding a job neither.
“I learnt from a friend for the training under the “Education to Employment” programme. I enquired about the company in which I will attend the training and I heard only best things about it. When I came into Avis for training, I realised that all nice stories about this company are true.“
He said that what surprised him the most was, and that is rarely seen in our country, the manner in which Avis employees treat each other and the young trainees.
“They treat each other with honour and respect. When you see them together, that they are there to help you learn about the job as much as possible and be even more motivated to do it. That is what liked the most: everybody is willing to help you and explain everything to you.“
Immediately after finishing the training, Nemanja got a job and he spends his working days at a packing-machine. He would also like to operate the Avis printing-machine.
“The same as my mate Ana, I too started from the packing-machine. I am also particularly interested in printing. I know it is a simple job… that one needs experience, but I believe that I will have a chance to move forward in that segment of the production process too.“
Nemanja said that he finds this job more interesting than the one he went to school for. He also said that, due to the good experience he had with the training and employment, now he is not sorry he failed to find a job in his profession.
“What you learn in school – it’s only basic, superficial. School does not provide the knowledge you need to start working in a company. Here, during the training, I learnt in more depth, more specifically, the very tasks carried out within the production process. I wish to acquire further knowledge while working in Avis.“
Nemanja said that he is pleased that the company believes he is a fast learner, that it is obvious that he makes an effort and does his best.
“I was praised while I was at the training. It seemed to me that they will offer a job to me, but I did not dare be sure about it. Therefore, the uncertainty subsisted all the way to the end. When it became clear to me that I got a job, I was jumping with joy.“
Nemanja said that his father said: well done! Bravo! But that he also told him that he needs to continue making an effort.
“I am motivated to do even better after the training. This job motivates me to go on with even more eagerness.“
Mentors’ and employer’s impressions of the training
Ana and Nemanja are unanimous with regard to the mentors in the Avis training being excellent. They added:
“They are doing a wonderful job! They are terrific!“
They say that they did their best to teach the trainees everything possible. Their way of explaining things was such that one learnt fast and easy. Also, they were patient when working with the trainees.
Andrija Prvulović is “Avis“ Deputy Director and one of the four mentors who took care that the trainees in this company acquire the skills required to become paper-making machine operators.
“The trainees have passed through the training in all phases of making the paper products: beginning with the rough processing machine, cutting and reaming machine – which was the first part of the training, through to the machine for final-product making, which are specific machines and it is only us that have them.“
Training programme was developed based on the analysis which Avis has adopted thanks to the “Education to Employment” programme.
“By analysing the job, all the steps and operations, we came to four sets of tasks which they need to perform in order to become an operator. These include: making semi-products, printing, making final products, and packing.“
The trainees’ entry into the production process was preceded by the training conducted by a teacher from the Technical School, as well as the training on occupational health and safety and on protection against fire.
“Avis“ says that the “Education to Employment” training is a faster and less expensive way to prepare young people for a specific job.
“Schools do not teach students to become paper-making machine operators and so there are no such operators in the labour market. That is why we normally used to get our staff when we were recommended a person, told that they were interested and liked to learn. Then a person concerned would come for an interview, go through training… we would test them, and some time it would be ok and sometimes it would not.“
Avis Production Manager Saša Tomašević was mentoring the three trainees who got a job after they finished the training. Being modest, he does not attribute that success to himself but exclusively to the hard work of those young people.
“They stood out in the group of trainees for their compliance and thoroughness. They did not take their assignments lightly – they went step by step, never skipping over anything, carefully and slowly.“
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: First training for the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors in Kragujevac
In “Sunce Marinković“company’s workshop, 26 years-old Bojan Milićević learns from the people who are most experienced in this job. He is one of the ten young trainees who are, within the “Education to Employment” programme, learning to become the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors.
Bojan’s wide smile unambiguously reveals how he feels about the training, how much he has learnt, and how he has accepted work discipline, fellow workers, etc.
“I’ve been in this training for a month and half. I am very satisfied and do not think anything is hard to do, or excessively arduous. I really found myself in this job and I am only too happy because of it. It is important to me to be of the impression that the instructors from Sunce Marinković, the ones from whom I am learning, are happy with how hard I try. I will continue to do my best until the training finishes because I know that this is my chance to get employed to do the job that is right for me.“
Workshops, construction site, repair shop
In the previous years, ever he finished a school for civil construction technician, Bojan has been doing his best to find a job. His diploma did not help him much because employers wanted only experienced workers in his profession. That is why he spent more than two years doing jobs in which he did not see his future.
“I learnt about the “Education to Employment” training at Sunce Marinković company’s website which I visit regularly looking for job vacancies. I saw the public call and this type of training attracted my interest. My attention was particularly drawn by the note that there is a possibility to employ the ones that produce best results.“
Bojan said that previously he had no contact whatsoever with the job of a fitter of ALU and PVC windows and doors. He added that only some tools looked familiar to him since he recognised them from earlier.
“Nothing looked too complicated to me. I settled down well and got everything quickly. Within this training I quickly realised that this job suits me well, I got it all very fast. It took a month of practical training to make everything clear to me. It seems to me that some things are now only routine to me and that every day I am getting better and more skilled.“
Bojan spent a lot of time in on-the-job training in the production hall of PVC doors and windows where, as he said, he had the opportunity of going through the entire ‘production line’ and doing all the operations within the production of windows, doors, and their frames. Afterwards, he went on to work in the workshop for ALU windows and doors and did some field work too.
“I was watching experienced people do the job, but I also had the opportunity to ‘get the feel’ of the tools. I was using a nutrunner, a drill, allen keys. I was making the window elements, packaging for windows and doors. I was helping the fitters to transport the products. I do field work, at the construction sites in Belgrade and Kragujevac where windows and doors were to be fitted. I also worked with the repairmen.“
Believe me, this is the job of the future!
Bojan emphasised that on-the-job training in “Sunce Marinković“ company means a lot to him because there he is learning everything he needs for the job of a fitter with this employer.
When asked whether he sees himself working as a fitter of ALU and PVC windows and doors, he gives a positive answer without any hesitation.
“I am really happy here and after the “Education to Employment” training finishes I would like to stay on and work in Sunce Marinković. Believe me, this is the job of the future. Wooden windows and doors were relegated to history a long time ago. ALU and PVC windows and doors are the future.“
He said that he got to love this job, that he had ‘found himself’ in it. He is sure that he will be able to be his best in it and that the employer would be satisfied with his performance.
Jokingly he said that, even though he was not able to find a job as a civil construction technician, his new skills will give him a chance to ‘maintain contact’ with the construction site, but in a new way.
Bojan is amazed with the knowledge of the instructors from whom the trainees are learning.
“My instructor for production is Mirko Mirkovski. I am sure that all who are interested to learn can learn a lot from him. I was also transferred a lot of knowledge and skills from instructor Aca Đorđević from Belgrade, at the repairs tasks.“
Bojan’s instructor Mirko Mirkovski has 13 years of work experience in “Sunce Marinković“ company. However, training for the trainees within the “Education to Employment” programme is a completely new experience for him. He said that he had worked with new employees before but never in such a systematised manner and ‘from scratch’.
“During the first ten days of training the trainees only observed what is being done and we tried to describe to them what the process is about, what is a window, what is a frame, what is a pane and what a door… what is what. After almost a month, as it is, they are capable to carry out a number of simple operations.“
He thinks that this training is particularly beneficial for those who have none work experience at all.
“This mentorship for young people is really beneficial. Formerly, the youth used to learn crafts from more experienced workers. However, it was not like this. There was not enough time to devote it to working with young workers. Therefore, the youth used to ‘capture’ the skills on their own, if I can say it like that. That has changed now. Within this training, the youth have mentors and the most important thing for a trainee is that he is willing to learn and work.“
Trainees tell him that the workshop is “swell” and that there are no tensions, as well as that fellow workers are ok, that they like the atmosphere there.
“They like to go with us to do the field work and on construction sites in which our products are being installed. They are particularly happy when they take part in the job and when they realise that those windows and doors will stay for years in that building.“
Mirko underlines that this training is very important for the company as well. Namely, in two months of on-the-job training they can identify young people who have a predisposition for this job and those who are prepared to learn and move forwards. They recognise that among the trainees there are those who comply with their work obligations and work discipline, they listen to more experienced workers and fit in the complete work process.
“It is very important for us in the company to be able to identify, in only two months, the trainees willing to adapt to our work environment. Nobody expects of them to do everything perfectly from the very start. I think that it is much more important that trainees show their quality, both as people and workers. Everything else they need as regards the skills they will learn through the years of work experience.“
“Sunce Marinković“: Through training to getting the scarce profiles
“Our main motivation for involvement in the training under the “Education to Employment” programme was to find the relevant staff, the profiles that are in deficit on the labour market. There is a problem on the labour market – how to find a good worker who is not only skilled but also complies with our fundamental values. It is harder and harder to find such candidates. Therefore, we turned to the alternative model,“ Đorđe Kosovac, HR counsellor in “Sunce Marinković“ company, said.
Nowadays young people do not go to school to become the fitters of ALU and PVC windows and doors. “Sunce Marinković“ company say that this profile is in high demand and has good prospects. The trainees have finished secondary vocational schools and most of them have no experience in making windows and doors. The training programme, both its theoretical and practical part, was designed in the company.
They describe the trainees as motivated, serious, committed, and responsible.
“They are not forced into coming here, they came of their own free will when they realised that this training would really benefit them. This is their opportunity to receive retraining and thus become more competitive on the market.“
“Sunce Marinković“ company underlines that the experience they acquire within the training will be valuable for all the trainees. Namely, regardless of the company in which they go, they will need this ‘previous knowledge’– they need to respect the work environment, working hours, their fellow workers, and they need to handle the tools with due care.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: Džesika, Dušan and Ivan are participants of the training for hearing aid technicians within the second cycle of the “Education to Employment” project. These young people acquire new knowledge in “Alfa” company which has a long-standing experience in providing services to users with mild hearing loss. In this company they say that there are no formal-education options for this occupation and that, accordingly, this is the only, but also the best, way for them to reach new and ready workers.
Through the “Education to Employment” model, Alpha created a training programme for a scarce vocational profile – hearing aid technician, the duration of which is three months with practical work accounting for two-thirds of the training.
Knowledge to help promote healthcare
Although they vary with regard to their formal education, all trainees have some things in common, such as creativity, engrossment, and communication. For them, the profession of hearing aid technician is much more than a craft. They say that this training will give them the opportunity to express their talents.
A 23-year-old student of law, Džesika Mihailović, said that she came to this training out of pure curiosity. At first glance already she found the job to be very interesting and she believes that she will manage to adopt new skills and knowledge.
“I don’t have any prior knowledge about this job. It’s been very interesting from the beginning. I believe that I will be able to express my talent through this training because the job is very specific, you need to be creative as well as have necessary skills,” Jessica explains.
Of all the trainees, Dušan Marinković, who is the same age as Džesika, has formal education which is the closest to the profile for which he is trained in “Alfa”. He graduated from the Medical College and had his internship at the ORL department, but he could not find a job in the healthcare sector.
“I find this training to be quite familiar. After the training I’d like to stay at Alfa to work and expand my knowledge. It can be said that this is a medical thing, so it wouldn’t be too far from the profession for which I was educated. I would help people who have hearing problems and I would be in the health care service,” Dušan said.
Dušan listed the skills he would learn in training: measuring the hearing level, taking ear prints, selling and repairing the hearing aids, making the ear protection plugs – for sleeping, music, noise.
“Sometimes a kind word is the most important thing we can offer to the users of our services. They are mostly elderly,” Dušan said.
From Paraćin, where he lives, Dušan travels for the training to Kragujevac. He said that he decided on this instead of on some other “destinations” across the border where many of his colleagues have recently gone in search of a better life.
Ivan Radović (25), who finished a school to become a web designer, came to the training directly from the unemployment bureau. Although these two occupations do not appear to be related, he explained that there is a “link” between design and a hearing aid technician.
“Here we take prints of ear canals and make olive-like devices for ear canals. They are all unique, customised. So, I can show my creativity for design, too. And if you have it in you, it means you can do it better and give your stamp to the work,” said Ivan.
Trainees look forward to the beginning of practical training. They are confident that they will do well, as well as that, with their newly-acquired knowledge, they will find a job more quickly.
To have a product that is both functional and beautiful
Nadežda is the mentor responsible for the trainees in Alfa workshop. She said that the job for which young people are trained there is not a simple one; it is not easy to learn and, in addition, it requires a lot of practice.
“In the first phase of their training, trainees simply watch how impressions are made, otoscopic exam of the ear – it is quite a complex process because electric motor is used. Then a mould is being made. To do that, one needs to know how to handle silica and all the instruments,” this mentor explained.
The second phase of training is practical work within which the trainees will carry out all the tasks on their own.
“First, they will take impressions of the ear canal using the model of the ear. When I, as a mentor, feel confident that they have gained the required knowledge, they will work with our clients,” said Nadežda Desnica.
The mentor listed the qualities one needs to be a good hearing aid technician, most important among them being composure, perseverance, fastidiousness, and creativity. She said that it would be good if one is artistically inclined, so that the products made are beautiful.
“Nothing is patterned here, made using a press, everything is done manually. Anyone with a creative streak, therefore, can really excel in this job, making nice canal devices, olive-shaped hearing protection devices – which we make as well.”
Company with a hearken to its new staff
Marjan Radović, from Alfa company, says that training is the only way to get someone to be trained for the hearing aid technician, since this educational profile does not exist in schools.
“It was a great opportunity to conduct training for the technician of the hearing devices through the “Education to Employment” project. Our initiative was accepted and then we elaborated the training to a great detail. Training is not only meant for candidates from medical professions and formal education of the trainee is not crucial. We structured the training so that it involves medical knowledge and cooperation with physicians, medical workers and our technicians,” Radović said.
In “Alfa” they said that the “Education to Employment” project enabled them to get the previously implemented training “put on paper”.
“This is a big plus because now we have defined stages of training, a list of tasks, and the work is faster, more efficient and easier,” Radović said.
The trainees who are in “Alfa” are also expected to do fieldwork because the established practice of this company is to meet the users halfway. This means that they perform free hearing check outside the office.
“Those who opt for the job of the hearing aid technicians should be ready to learn and improve constantly,” – this is the message from Alfa.
The total of seven trainees are undergoing the training in Kragujevac for hearing aid technicians within the second cycle of the “Education to Employment” project. In addition to “Alfa”, young people undergo training in “Otto Protetik” and “KG Medikal”.
Text and photography: Gordana Mirković/Editor: Sandra Vlatković
Kragujevac: Training for welder started in Kragujevac
The training centre of the Wacker Neuson company in Kragujevac is currently training 20 young people for the most demanded profile in metal industry – welders. The task of seven experienced instructors is to, in the course of a two-month practical training in this company, teach them the MIG/MAG welding skills.
Anđel Đorđević (29) entered this training after he was informed about it in the National Employment Service in Kragujevac. They saw that what is Anđel’s hobby at this time could become his actual job. He has finished a school for the road traffic technician but has never had a job in his profession. He mostly managed by doing some joinery jobs in furniture manufacturing. However, he did not see his future in it.
“As a hobby, I used to do some manual welding at home. I grew to love that job and I had no dilemma whatsoever when I learnt about the Education to Employment programme. I see in it the opportunity to pick up much more about welding, to learn how to do MIG/MAG welding which is in high demand in the industry.“
Learning from the best
Anđel said that he is very happy to be trained in the company for which he already knows that it has a very good welding school and instructors.
“Our entire group was very well accepted at the training in Wacker. They are functioning as a large family. Instructors are really knowledgeable and they pay maximum attention to everyone.“
Practical training in the company was preceded by theoretical training in the Secondary Vocational School in Kragujevac.
“Theoretical training was very good. Some things were familiar to me, but I also learnt a lot of new things, primarily about MIG/MAG (Metal Inert Gas/Metal Active Gas) welding. I like it. After that I was chosen, together with a group of trainees, for practical training in Wacker Neuson.“
Anđel has been attending training for about a month. He said that during the first days of the training the trainees learnt about OH&S since welding job requires mandatory wearing protection equipment. Indeed, all trainees were dressed properly, they had protective mask, gloves, aprons.“
“Instructors explained to us about this appliance, how it works, how to hold the pistol, what angle to take when welding. Yes, we were all quite anxious in the beginning. It is only normal. However, with time we overcame the anxiety.”
Anđel said that welders’ job is hard, and that working conditions are also hard, considering high temperature levels.
“For instance, when the wire reaches electric arc, temperature may surge up to 3 thousand degrees. You get used to it all, however.“
Anđel said that he loves this job nevertheless. He finds it interesting, creative. He is continually learning new things. Every weld is like embroidery: one needs to be very precise. He added that this is why you need to have a steady hand in this job and you need to be focused and pay attention at all times, you need to continuously monitor welding position, arch, and angle.
Anđel’s business plan
“I want to have a career in welding. My plan is to use the knowledge and skills acquired at the Education to Employment training to get a job sooner. I hope that I will stay on to work in Wacker Neuson. Welders are in high demand. I am not interested in going abroad at this moment. It is essential that I acquire sufficient knowledge, to find a job here. Welders are very well paid in our country. If you work hard, you can earn well.“
It is also important to him that he has got a chance to get a welders’ certificate which he believes would bring him an advantage in finding employment and further career promotion.
Anđel believes in better future for his entire family after he finishes the “Education to Employment“ training.
“My wife is out of work; we have a two-year old daughter. We are managing somehow. That is why this is of critical importance for me. I believe that now I am well on my way to be trained for a job that will provide security to me. It is critical for me as a young man who wants to have a family. In the past I had some jobs which did not provide such security.“
Instructors are superb welders
The group of 20 trainees is ‘in the hands’ of young but superb welders who are all employed in Wacker Neuson. They are teaching them and monitor their progress. In addition to looking at the quality of their work, they also look at their working habits, willingness to learn, motivation, behaviour, camaraderie… Based on all this they will decide which trainees will be chosen for a ‘higher level’, namely to be transferred from the training centre to the production hall where they will continue to ‘master’ their craft.
“To date the trainees have completed 30 percent of their Education to Employment training. There is still a lot to do. It is important to learn how to steady your hand and then to get more applicable knowledge. We know that even after a couple of years you need to learn more in this job. Even first-rate welders, instruction, after working for 10 years, admit that they can and should learn more,“ manager of the Wacker Training Centre, mechanical engineer Miloš Ristić, said.
Ristić said that young people are being trained in accordance with the requirements of a specific work position. They all need to adopt the basics of welding, appliance setting, to learn about the quality of the seam and the weld.
“You can have specialisation too. Not all lines are the same, some people make a wider and some a narrower weld. This group of trainees need to learn how to make A3 – A10 welds, depending on the thickness of sheet or panel.“
Ristić said that the trainees’ progress is evaluated through testing weekly basis.
“Before they are transferred to the production hall, we will test them. We will see whether they are ready to work in the production line. If it turns out that they are not, they will have to undergo further training. The trainees are now in the pre-production phase. They will qualify for production if they are marked with four or five“.
Dragan Spasojević is one of the instructors in the “Education to Employment“ training for welders. He has been working as a welder for 6 years and for two years he has been teaching his younger colleagues.
“We first taught the trainees how to use the protection equipment and the appliance; about the welding process, welding conditions and positions. They first work on panels on which they are practicing the basic weld of different dimensions, A3 to A8. Then they practice on metal panels how to change the welding angle and direction; then they change positions. Afterwards we introduce some parts from the production line and they work on them. They will be assigned their first tasks so as to, under the supervision of their mentors, apply what they have learnt.“
He said that the right attitude is what makes a good welder. First of all, young person needs to be interested in this job and wish to learn more; they need to be aware of what their career could look like.
“It is important that they learn about the physical part of this job and that their bodies get used to the working position – it is not a natural position. The job is very demanding. It is very hard in the beginning but with time the welder gets used to all the challenges. It is only normal that in the beginning young welder makes maximum effort only to produce minimum results. However, with time they will be able to have much better results with minimum effort.
Spasojević said that all trainees for welders are good and stressed that they are very motivated to learn. They know that whether their dream of getting employment will be come true or not depends on how hard they work and how good they are during the two-month training. Only the best among them will get the opportunity to get employment as welders in Wacker Neuson company which produces excavators and agricultural machines.
The training for welders within the second cycle of the “Education to Employment“ programme is attended by the total of 36 young people from Kragujevac. Practical training is implemented in Wacker Neuson, AMM Manufacturing, and Siemens Mobility.
Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković