E2E story – “Basic Check“ in the First Technical School

E2E story – “Basic Check“ in the First Technical School

Kragujevac: In less than a year, BIPS (Business Innovation Programs) in Kragujevac organised, within the “Education to Employment” project, the “Basic Check“ testing for competency assessment of about 100 secondary school students.


This test for skills and knowledge assessment took place in the Secondary Vocational School and in Economics School in Kragujevac, and, in Vrnjačka Banja, 20 students of the Catering/Tourist School underwent the testing.


In the end of June, a group of third-grade students of the First Technical School in Kragujevac, department for the profession of a construction technician, also underwent the “Basic Check“.



This test is not easy, but it is useful


“It was hard for me to do the test because I am not good at mathematic,“ Aleksandra Jakovljević, a third-grader of the First Technical School in Kragujevac, said after being tested in the BIPS.


But she added that, on the other hand, it was much easier for her to resolve the tasks such as “linguistic comprehension” or “three-dimensional objects“.


She believes that the results of the Basic Check testing her competency level will help her plan her future career, learn what further knowledge she needs to continue her school to become a surveyor.


“This testing helps me to discover whether my wishes match my competency level,” Aleksandra, who never before received career counselling, said.


She said that she will follow the counsel she received from the career guidance experts, but that she will nevertheless keep to the road she has chosen for herself.


“The test was somewhat confusing. The questions in mathematic were the ones that were most difficult. I do not do well with mathematic,“ construction technician-to-be Filip Arsić said.



“BIPS career counsellor Lazar interpreted the test results for me and I will accept his advice for my further professional orientation,” Filip, who wishes to continue his education at the Higher School of Construction, said. He believes that, with this educational background, he will find a job more easily.


Students are interested in career counseling

The pedagogue and a member of the career guidance and counselling team in the First Technical School Aleksandra Radović said that the students of this school are interested in career counselling implemented in cooperation with BIPS.


“We have recently had workshops for group and individual counselling for more than 50 1st and 2nd grade students. In November, these workshops were attended by the 3rd and 4th grade students. Last year we implemented a career aptitude quiz according to the “Education to Employment” programme, and this year our students underwent the Basic Check competency test for the first time,” Aleksandra said.


She said that the First Technical School has more than 1300 students and that it is impossible to complete all professional orientation activities in school, which is why the support of BIPS and their career counselors is so important.


She announced that the Basic Check for the students of the First Technical School will continue in the beginning of the new school-year, along with other career guidance and counseling activities, and that they will keep a close watch on how much the counseling ‘tools’ have helped the students choose their future professions.


Basic check – For youth to identify their advantages  


BIPS career counsellor Lazar Đoković said that the Basic Check test can be completed in 60 minutes under the supervision of a counsellor.


“The test contains the tasks in four areas. These are cognitive tasks with linguistic content, cognitive tasks with multidimensional content, numerical cognitive tasks, and tasks for assessment of the English language knowledge,” Lazar explained.


According to what he said, this test helps young people to distinguish their competences and understand their chance for development. 


“It is not only the knowledge areas needing further work that they identify; they also detect their key advantages so that they could use them in the best way in their career. Moreover, it helps them in professional orientation and makes it easier for them to make a career choice,” Lazar said.


After they complete the test, the candidates are awarded certificates by the career counsellor who will interpret the test results and explain to them the competency assessment based on the results of the testing.


“These data are also useful for us, the counsellors, since we get a broader picture and get to know better the person concerned, how we can go on providing support to them and  implement other activities and tools within the individual counselling process,” Lazar told us.



He added that, with the knowledge about competences under the Basic Check, young people can be counselled and guided with regard their future education or, if they do not intend to continue their education, on-the-job training which BIPS implements under the “Education to Employment” project.


Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković


E2E story – Employment for CNC operators

E2E story – Employment for CNC operators

Kragujevac: Trainees who trained, within the Education to Employment Project, for the profession of CNC operator in “IC inženjering“ company, have achieved their goal. Namely, after completing the training they continued working in that company which, in return, ensured lacking workforce with suitable competencies.

He replaced the car with a CNC machine

Nineteen-year-old  Marko Vučićević also works with a CNC machine. He went to school to become a machine technician for motor vehicles.


He said that he came to this training because he finds it more interesting to work with CNC machines than with cars.


“Most of the things I learnt at this training I have never seen before. Everything is new and interesting to me. I was mostly helped by my mentor, but  also by the masters at the machines who have many years of experience,“ Marko told us.


He also said that the training under the Education to Employment Project was magnificent because one gets to do things by oneself, which is much better than when you only listen to others telling you how it should be done.


“It was the first time I saw a CNC machine in my life and in the beginning I doubted that I would be able to learn and adopt PC skills, that I would be able to create programmes. However, it turned out that everything was easy for me, it all became my routine after a short while,“ Marko said.


What does it actually look like?


“I get the programme from my mentor on plasma, then I enter it into the computer, I switch on the machine and then follow closely how it operates. I create the programme on the press myself, I only get the dimensions and drawing, and then based on them I create the programme and that is where the sheet constantly bends so that it can be quite hard to do it, depending on the dimensions of the table that is being bent. This the most difficult and the most complex machine. CNC scissors only do the cutting – after I enter the measurements I am provided by the engineer,“ Marko explained.


He underlined that he gained more self-confidence at the training and that he is certain that no task is too big for him.


“My parents are happy, too. Although they would prefer it if I worked in a state-owned company. Then again, I have a secure job here and do not want to risk losing such a good job. I fitted in well in this working environment and that is what I liked the most from the very beginning. There are lot of young employees here, and the older ones are at all times ready to advise us about the job; and to have a joke with us, of course. That is why the time flies and I find everything there interesting“, Marko said.




A job Slavko wished for


“My profession is in demand but because nobody wants to employ people who have no experience I was not able to get a job before. They all want workers who have “proven themselves at work”. That is also the case with the profession of a CNC operator and that is why I think I am happy for having got a chance to receive training for this profession,“ 27-year-old Slavko Živanović, who is an electrical computer technician by profession, started to tell the story of his life.


Until now he has been gaining work experience only outside his profession. Namely, he worked as a hydraulic technician in a company connected with the Smederevo steel mill, doing field-work for MTS, and making deliveries by car for Nelt company. He learnt about the training in IC inženjering from his counsellor in the National Employment Service.


In IC inženjering they told us that they need new staff and that it depends on us whether we will get the job – we need to prove ourselves during the training. I was interested to learn the job of a CNC operator because it is in high demand and I hoped to get employment. That was my greatest motivation during the training,“ Slavko said.

He is satisfied with his job in the company for which he says that is serious and stable, provides good work conditions and disburses pay in a timely manner.


Slavko said that it is exactly what he wanted: a stable job and income, and that this employment  arrived at the right time considering that they will soon “hear the pitter-patter of little feet” in his family.


Through training to the first job in his profession



A computerized management technician Bogdan Milojević (20) came to the training without having any relevant work experience. After he finished school he has done some builder’s jobs only.


“I wanted to get a job as a CNC operator; it is my profession but I could not get it because all larger companies want experienced operators,“ Bogdan said and explained the reasons for his coming to the training under the “Education to Employment” project.


He said that this training has met all his expectations.


“I wanted to get a good training and I have learnt here much more than I did at school. I expected a job – and I got a job. In school I learnt only the basics and mostly did programming. But here, on this job, I learnt in more detail the specifics of the job of a CNC operator,“ Bogdan said.



He underlined that his mentor had considerably helped him at the training for CNC operators.


“He was always there to show us everything, to teach us how things are done, with what tools, how is the  programme functioning on the computer to make the machine obey the commands. We also have a colleague who is our superior now and who still keeps an eye on what we do and teaches us, because we want to expand our knowledge and all this will be valuable for us in our future work.“


He is trained to work with all three CNC machines but, in addition to working with them he also ‘jumps in’, whenever a need arises, to do other jobs within the production.


“I am not saying I do everything masterfully now, that i am a master. I am still at the learning stage; I make mistakes, but you learn from your mistakes.”


He is happy both with the training and the job he is doing.


“Now I have experience and knowledge to be competitive in the market. I have widened the range of my abilities and capabilities,“ Bogdan inferred.


All three trainees were awarded a certificate for the progress they made at the training.



Employees fitting the needs of the employer


IC inženjering, a company which makes steel structures and produces warehouse and transport and logistics equipment, got involved into the implementation of training for CNC operators since they needed workers of that profession which is in deficit in the labour market.


“That was an opportunity for us to fill job vacancies but also an opportunity for young people without experience to receive training and get a job,“ the mentor of the trainees Vladimir Delić said.


According to what he said, this is the first experience this company had with the training under the “Education to Employment” project.



“In the past we acquired new workers by announcing the vacancies and then we trained them in-house to work in specific work positions. And we tried to find the workers who already had some relevant experience, but, more often than not, that was impossible.“


Delić highlighted the many benefits from the E2E training.


“First of all, the trainees are all young, motivated and eager to learn, and the advantage is that they do not have previous work experience, namely the knowledge which can possibly stand in the way of their adopting new skills as needed for a specific work position in our company,“ Delić said.


He said that this was for the first time that he, in the role of a mentor, participated in training the young workers. He also said that he had enough time to devote himself to the trainees and that he is really happy with the progress they made.



Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković



E2E story – Miloš’s choice of training

E2E story – Miloš’s choice of training

Kragujevac: Miloš Vasiljević, a trainee within the “Education to Employment” project, attends the training for operators in the production of aluminium tubes in Orion company in Kragujevac learning to become a press operator, which is the first time he gains experience in the production of this kind.


Miloš is a car mechanic and hairstylist for men/women by profession.


„After I finished school, I worked in Megle and Kuč dairies, fast-food shops, and in a hair salon for three years“, 24-year-old Miloš said.


He said that he was looking for a job when he saw online the vacancy announcement for jobs in Orion. That company referred him to the Business Development Centre in Kragujevac where he was told about training under the “Education to Employment” project.


Miloš maintains that the job of a press operator is neither hard or strenuous and he briefly described what is being done at the training.


„Washers are inserted and then tubes are being shaped, a thread is made and the top of the tube is being cut off. Then it is shifted to the turning lathe and that’s it“, this young trainee explained.

He does not find it tiring to be at work for eight hours because, as he underlined, the working atmosphere suited him fine. He sees the training as the opportunity to gain experience which will be his advantage in finding a job.

„I fitted in very well, I have wonderful mentors Gale and Raja from whom one can learn a lot“, Miloš said.


Mentors help, explain, and, when the machine chokes, they quickly come to help out and explain why it happened and whether a tube needs to be shortened or widened.


„As soon as I came to the production, I sat at the machine right away. At first I was making mistakes, but not too many of them“, Miloš said, happy with what he learnt and with the progress he made during his two and a half months of training.



Under the watchful eye of the mentor


„I explain to them everything they want to know. Of course, you cannot learn all this for three months only, you need more time. Our trainees, however, can learn how to follow the process during the training – if a tube gets wrinkled, whether to discard it or let it pass“, master Dragan Stojanović, Miloš’s mentor at this training, said.


He said that it is most important that young trainees are really eager to learn and that it is a precondition for their being good at this job.


He himself, as he said, learnt from the experienced masters, and now, for the first time in his career, he got the opportunity to transfer knowledge to young workers.


Asked how he feels as a ‘teacher, he said “not too bad”.


„They can learn. They only need to want to learn. If they do not want to do it, everything is in vain, we can talk and demonstrate, but to no avail“, master Dragan, who has 26 years of work experience, said.


He is one of five mentors who are transferring their knowledge to seven trainees who attend training for operators in the aluminium tube production line in Orion company, following the programme under the “Education to Employment” project. In this production, they learn to do the jobs of a press operator and a varnisher, as well to work with the lids.


Wishes and plans


„It is most important for me to gain knowledge and get employed by a company in which I will have a steady job and income, that my pension insurance is being paid – rather than stay in a company for a couple of months only“, Miloš the trainee said.


He underlined that the terms and conditions of employment contract mattered as well.


„I find it all important, the working conditions and the salary. I live with my parents who support me. For them too, it is important that I find a job.“


He said that, were it not for training under the “Education to Employment” project, he would still be registered with the employment bureau and looking for a job, perusing the vacancy announcements …


„I used to work for my pocket money – all these were off-books jobs“, Miloš added. And in the end he stressed: „I was not wrong to come to this training, I really was not!“.


Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković


E2E story – Nevena’s seam

E2E story – Nevena’s seam

Kragujevac: One of the five trainees for sewers within the “Education to Employment” project, Nevena Bumbašić (34) from Kragujevac, said that the knowledge she is acquiring in the children’s clothes-making company “Kolibri“ in Kragujevac is a new experience in her life and that she hopes that it will recommend her to any other employer dealing with the production of clothes.


Nevena came to this training as it was recommended to her by her counsellor at the National Employment Service and wishing to learn a craft which will give her a chance to find a permanent job. She underlined that she is a single parent and that the welfare benefits she receives are not enough for her family.



Nervousness at the beginning


„At first I was quite nervous because never before did I have anything to do with sewing machines or sewing“, Nevena said sincerely.


She admitted that in the beginning she found the training to be ‘really difficult’ because all she could think about is that she keeps up and do everything correctly and within the time she was given.


„I do try, you need to practice a lot, you need to be present both psychologically and physically, and you need to love that what you are doing“, Nevena said about the training.


A portfolio full of art and design work


Nevena proudly showed a portfolio of her works from the training. This included ‘the things she practiced’ at the training, different pieces of textile, different seams, pockets, as well as a finished children’s trousers.


„I learnt a lot. We started with basic things we need to know, such as open and closed seam, then invisible seam or ueberstep – we call it a decorative seam stitch. Then we practiced to make pockets of different kinds, and flap pockets. Even at this moment we are joining together a pair of small trousers. We are now making the belt, with all the appertaining elements“, Nevena said, admitting that it was the pocket that gave her the most trouble.


She said that to join together a garment is normally the most difficult task because “if you mess up with one operation only, the entire garment is gone“.


„Now we have finished a pair of children’s trousers, the plan is that we make a little shirt. We started with collars and sleeves“, Nevena said.


She stressed that her teacher – which is how she calls her mentor Miodrag Ilić, “explains and demonstrates everything nicely, and the trainees are to listen to him carefully and do everything as it should be done”.


„Nothing is hard when you listen carefully to your teacher. You need to focus and follow closely what is being presented to you“.



A job instead of “welfare benefits“


If it were not for the “Education to Employment” project training, Nevena would still be registered with the employment bureau and on welfare.


„I take care to always apply for training courses, to add to my knowledge so that I can find a job“, Nevena added.


She said that she is a single parent of three children and that welfare benefits are not enough for her family. That is why a permanent job with fixed working hours would mean a lot to her.


„I never finished the school for machine technicians because I got married, and then the children arrived. So far I have been working in different small businesses, as a grill cook, as a cleaner, in a coffeeshop, and so I have nine months of service. Working overtime was a problem because I could not do it considering my duties relating to taking care of my children“, Nevena said.


She said that the training under the “Education to Employment” project in “Kolibri“ is one further experience in her life.



„I hope that I will stay to work here, that is my wish. That is why I try to be the best I can be at the training“, Nevena said.


She believes that everything she learnt in “Kolibri“ will be seen as a good reference by any employer involved in the production of clothes.


It is particularly important for her that her children are happy whenever they see something she has made at the training, and she is happy that she will be able to sew something at home, for her family.


Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković


E2E story – Three training courses in Orion

E2E story – Three training courses in Orion

Kragujevac: Orion company from Kragujevac is taking part in implementing the training under the “Education to Employment” programme for the first time. Orion is training people for three professions: aluminium tube printing operator, tube production line operator, and CNC machine operator.



This is for the first time that training for aluminium tube printing operator and tube production line operator is organised within the E2E. The programme of this training was developed in cooperation between Orion experts and the Business Development Centre in Kragujevac (RBC). The third training course, one for CNC machine operators, is implemented following a programme earlier formulated under the “Education to Employment” project.



From sport to production



Two young men from Kragujevac, 29-year-old Ivan Perović and Vidak Jović (18), found their place in the training for the production of aluminium tubes. They are learning to become aluminium tube printing operators.



What they have in common is that they are both absolute neophytes here considering that, before this training, they did not have any previous knowledge or experience in working in the production.



Ivan is a financial technician by profession. He has played volleyball professionally for years but then he decided to change his career path.



„I received a call from the National Employment Service and they offered me retraining. I do not have any work experience in my profession, or any other profession – only in sport. I applied for this training but, honestly, I did not have a clue what it is about. When I went for an interview in the company it seemed interesting. And it turned out that it really is“, Ivan said.



He underlined that he had absolutely no previous knowledge about the profession for which he undergoes the training but that two-week theoretical training in the Secondary Vocational School meant a lot to him.



„I think that I got a clear grasp of the job pretty quickly, and I am to thank my mentor for that. He started working with me from the very first day and I believe that I have learnt a lot during this period of almost three months“.



Ivan shortly described duties of the work position for which he is undergoing training.



„According to the job description, my task is to position the printing moulds correctly bearing in mind that the dimensions of every aluminium tube are different, the image on every tube is different. Then I make sure that everything goes as it should, that all nuances are ok, look for any errors.“





He is happy with the progress he makes and feels positive that, after a few more months, he will be able to work independently.



„The intention behind this training is to get a job in this profession. That is what I hope for, because I need a job. It is not about the money, I need to work for sociological reasons“, Ivan said.



New skills ‘print’ the first job



Vidak, an architectural technician by profession, has a brief experience in working in construction. For almost a year after graduation he was searching for a job and it was in vain. He heard for the RBC, checked what it was about, and – as he said – he is happy with his choice of training.



„When we first arrived, our mentors Raja and Rile treated us very professionally and they understood us. They have shown us everything. They remembered the days when they were young as we are now and they knew how to transfer their knowledge to us“, Vidak, who undergoes training for printing operator in aluminium tube production, said.



He said that this job for which he is being trained is very complex.



„We set the machine for printing and then, from different cylinders, it transfers the printing moulds with engraved symbols, company seals, headlines, etc. Several such moulds are being transferred to the tube which is then baked to get its final appearance“, Vidak explained knowledgeably.





Training in Orion is an important experience for him.



„I would really like to stay to work here. This is my first work experience“, Vidak said.



Advantages of the “Education to Employment” project



Production manager in Orion Aleksandar Kovačević highlighted his positive experience with training the trainees following the “Education to Employment” programme.



„Candidates who enrolled the training within the “Education to Employment” project have first undergone a theoretical training in the school, during which they gained a certain level of knowledge about what is being done here and how, what machines are used, etc. That is a huge advantage at the start and a huge difference if we compare this with our experience with new workers coming in our company and having no preparation whatsoever“, Aleksandar said.



According to him, there are no ‘ready-made’ workers on the market for some of the work positions in his company. That is why it is good to recruit them through training courses such as the ones within the “Education to Employment” project.



He added that formal education, relevant for the job for which they apply, may be an advantage but that it is not a rule when it comes to choosing the really good workers. The cases of the trainees Ivan and Vidak confirm that members of other professions, with adequate training, may be retrained to perform some specific tasks in production.



„In cooperation with the RBC we have created the programme which we will be able to also use in future training of our new workers – which is yet another advantage of the E2E“, production manager in Orion Aleksandar Kovačević said.



Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković

E2E story  – “Kolibri“ is training sewers

E2E story – “Kolibri“ is training sewers

Kragujevac: Five young unemployed women from Kragujevac are undergoing training for sewers in Kolibri children’ clothes company under the “Education to Employment” project. Clothes-making companies are looking for good sewers who will be able to be on a par with the masters of the craft tomorrow. That is why these five trainees are learning the ropes of this job from the very best in Kolibri clothes company.


The art of sewing


The trainees share the work space with the employees. They have their own place in the production line in which everything is organised with extreme precision.

We meet the twenty-year-old Sara Stojanović beside a machine where she was about to finish up making children’s trousers and move on to her new task – sewing the hoods.


„We put the parts together as instructed by our teachers. We work ‘in line’ with more experienced workers who help us relax a bit and speed up our work at the machines. In that way we get the feeling about the entire production process“, Sara said.


She said that she came to training under the “Education to Employment” project because she would like to learn “everything there is to know” about sewing. She believes that, since fashion design is her profession, it is very important that she is good at sewing.


After she finished school, sewing was not Sara’s choice. She worked in a coffeeshop to earn her pocket money and tried to get to the acting school.


„Acting is pushed aside now. We will see. It is never too late to become an actor. I like art and, in my opinion, sewing is a kind of art. I like sewing!“, Sara said.


She told us that she had some previous sewing knowledge from school and that training under the “Education to Employment” project added to it significantly.


„Honestly, in school I did not apply myself adequately at practical training. This training means something else for me. I take it much more seriously. Working conditions here are wonderful and our mentor is brilliant. I have only words of praise for him“, Sara said.


She told us that she learnt a lot at the training. And she particularly stressed that she learnt how to make seams.


„In the beginning we made seams: closed ones, open ones, the French seam. I did not really practice making them in school and that is why this means a lot“, Sara said.


Her dream is to have her own fashion brand one day.


„I would like to get a job in a clothes-making company, to gain more experience and sewing routine. I want to have my own fashion brand. I like to draw and I see myself in doing it. It therefore means a lot to me to learn everything there is to know about sewing, because drawing and sewing go hand-in-hand“, Sara revealed her plans.


A lot of practice to acquire the skill


Nevena, Aleksandra, and Marijana told us about their experience from the training, too.


„You need to practice a lot. You need to be present both physically and mentally, and you need to love what you are doing. I get a little nervous but in the end I complete the task correctly“, Nevena Bimbašić (34), a trainee for sewers, said, proud of the first little trousers she sewed.



Aleksandra Stojanović (32) has thus far undergone training for make-up artists and pedicurists. She has also worked in cable industry. She said that she is finding herself in “Kolibri” clothes company and that she expects that it will help her get a job. After the first month of training, she is more adept with the machine and feels more relaxed when she is working.


„Now we are in the line, we are working on hoods – their front and back parts. Honestly, I like this training. Besides, my grandma was a reputed tailor and I have been attracted to this job ever since I was a small kid. Now I got my chance and I am grateful that I was given the honour to come to “Kolibri” “, Aleksandra said.



Marijana Maksić (32) from Kragujevac has previous experience in sewing but she admits she made a lot of mistakes in doing that job and thus welcomes this training which will enable her to remedy her mistakes.


„I can learn a lot at the training. I am really happy with it. Our mentor is a retired teacher, which means that we are learning from the horse’s mouth. Our colleagues from Kolibri are helping, too“, Marijana said.


She would like to, once her training is finished, stay and work in Kolibri. She also has some other plans for future – to continue her school and start a family business one day.


A little shirt for the final exam


Mentor at the training for sewers Miodrag Ilić, the owner of “Kolibri” clothes company, is a garment-production engineer with many years of experience.


He says that good sewers are scarce on today’s market considering that the most experienced ones – those who were trained in Kragujevac factories which are now all closed – are drawing near to their retirement.

Miodrag believes that work-based learning (WBL) is the only way to get hold of suitable workers. He adds that, of course, you need to continue learning later on, when you are doing your job, because something always changes – materials, models, etc.



„We had training courses for sewers before but the one under the “Education to Employment” project lasts longer – 300 hours, and it is more seriously organised. One mentor is in charge of five trainees, which enables us to devote ourselves to the maximum extent possible“,  Miodrag said.


According to what he said, the principal rule is that a sewer learns to operate the machine so that the machine does what the sewer wants, and not the other way round.


„It is not true that you only need to sit at the machine and start to sew. In order to sew a pair of trousers you need to be trained to work at 12 different machines which are all modern, electronic. I train them so that they are able to work at every machine and that tomorrow, when they get employment, no machine is unknown to them“,  Miodrag shared his abundant experience with us.


Midway through the training, Miodrag is happy with the progress made by the trainees. However, he stressed that not all of them can be equal, some are making progress faster and some at a bit slower pace.


Kolibri said that training for sewers combines the knowledge of artisan manufacturing and serial production.


„I include the trainees in serial production, in the line, to work along with our employees, to get a sense of the production, to know the time for each operation, to know what is required.“


Miodrag believes that the job of a sewer is a very creative job. One makes some nice pieces of clothes, there are different models, decorative seams, etc. At the same time, the clothes are meant for a specific population.


The trainees under the “Education to Employment” project shall weigh how many rules and secrets of sewing they have acquired in the final exam which will consist of making a small shirt – the most demanding task.


Text and photo: Gordana Mirović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković