E2E story – Milica: I had a stroke of luck

E2E story – Milica: I had a stroke of luck

Kruševac: Twenty-seven-years-old Milica Jočić from Kruševac decided to apply, within the “Education to Employment” project, for training for the profession of a waiter, even though she had no previous knowledge about the job. And this paid off because, after two-month training in Kruševac’s “But 037” coffeeshop, she got a job.

 

“I decided to try myself out in this job, within the project. First we had theoretical training in which I learnt a lot about the job of a waiter, about the rules relating to restaurants, the dress code, about how to address the customers, and about working in a coffeeshop where the rules are somewhat different,“ Milica Jočić said.

 

She said that she was really lucky to end up in “But 037“ coffeeshop.

 

“The employer is good, and co-workers and the manager are ready to come forward, to explain what we are to do,“ Milica explained.

 

Even though she learns new things every day, she is aware that two months were not long enough for her to learn all the ropes of waiter’s craft.

 

“However, I do know enough to be able to complete a shift on my own. At summertime we have the outside seating space and, considering that our coffeeshop is small,  the jobs of the barman and the waiter are not separated. This means that I have learnt to make many kinds of coffee and iced tea  which we have on offer. And that is what I like very much,” she said.

 

According to her, these are made by adding different additives and syrups so that what you get is white, black, mocha, or hot or cold coffees.

 

“We also have different kinds of specialty coffee, filter coffees which take some more time to prepare. You  need to have some more knowledge to do it. And there are special appliances for it,“ she added.

 

 

She believes that it is always good to be able to do several jobs and she confirmed that it means a lot to her that she got a job after she completed the training.

 

“I am happy that I have stayed on to work here. To earn your living – particularly nowadays – means a lot. Besides, I really like the job,“ she said.

 

The owner of the “But 037“ coffeeshop and the mentor at the training Stefan Stojanović has only the words of praise for Milica.

 

“I am really fascinated by her taking initiative and being eager to learn. I could see that she was very interested in the job and that this is a way for her to gain knowledge which will be useful for her even if she works elsewhere,“ Stefan Stojanović said.

 

According to what he said, the “Education to Employment“ project is interesting because it motivates the people who are willing to work.

 

“He helped me to, on the job, train a person who is new in this and has no experience. Also, even though I had been a mentor before, in this project I have expanded and advanced my knowledge about communication with trainees and I learnt how to organise the training and divide it in several separate parts,“ Stefan Stojanović said.

 

Five trainees from Kruševac and Trstenik attended the training for waiter’s job within the “Education to Employment“ project in three coffeeshops. The duration of training was two months, and the practical part was preceded by the theoretical one conducted by a teacher from the Kruševac Chemical/Technological School.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković

 

E2E story – Paradox Café: How best to impress customers

E2E story – Paradox Café: How best to impress customers

Kruševac: Practical training for the job of a waiter in Kruševac “Paradox” café, within the “Education to Employment” programme, is attended by two trainees who belong to a group of five young people training for this job in the Rasina County under the Work-Based Learning (WBL) programme.

 

Aleksandar Jovanović (25) finished the Chemical/Technological School, Department for Food Technicians. Since he was not able to find a job in his profession, he decided to go on a cruise ship and work as a waiter there. COVID-19 epidemic, however, brought him back to Kruševac where he was jobless for more than a year. Hoping to improve his knowledge that way, he decided to apply for the training in a profession in which he had no previous experience:

 

“I applied for this training because I wanted to improve my skills, to move forward in the job I do, to develop myself professionally. Here I was learning a lot about how to treat the customers.“

 

 

He plans to go back on the cruise ship when it becomes possible, mentioning that better pay is the reason for that. 

 

As opposed to Aleksandar, Mihailo Knežević (18) would like to keep on working as a waiter after he finishes the training.

 

“I went to school for waiters and I have worked while I was at school. I came to this training so as to consolidate the knowledge I have gained earlier. I find the training really good. It proved once again that it is completely different when you are faced with real-life situations with customers – compared with what you learn in theory,“ Mihailo said and added that this is definitely a profession for him and that he could not even imagine himself doing some other job.

 

 

Happy with their performance, the mentor – the “Paradox” Café manager Nenad Miladinović, confirmed that trainees are successfully completing the training programme.

 

“They came with some basic knowledge but this was an opportunity for them to improve their skills and knowledge in the circumstances which are far from simple, namely when there are plenty of customers, meeting our standards which are very high. Generally speaking, we mostly insist on how the waiters treat customers and this is best seen when the crowds are huge, when you need to be polite, to smile and, certainly, to apply all other required techniques and tasks.”

 

“The point is that the waiter gains deep understanding of the catering business; to understand that this is not a trading business, that a customer should feel our hospitability and not only be given a drink,“ Miladinović explained. 

 

He confirmed that finding suitable staff is extremely hard in this business sector, and that it is further aggravated with coronavirus pandemic which have affected hotels, tourism and catering industry the most.

 

“This kind of training is very important, both for the trainees and for us, the mentors. I have personally found it beneficial since it helped me systematise the knowledge I already had. I have gained knowledge about catering throughout many years of practical work and the training for mentors helped me formulate and shape what I already knew,“ Miladinović said.

 

 

Two women in Trstenik “Caffe Caffe”, and one in Kruševac “But” coffeeshop are also training to do a waiter’s job.

 

Before this practical part, the trainees underwent a theoretical part of the training which was conducted by experienced teachers from the Chemical/Technological School.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by Sandra Vlatković

 

E2E story – Presentations in the school for adults and nearby villages

E2E story – Presentations in the school for adults and nearby villages

Kruševac: The representatives of the Educational Centre, organisation which is implementing the “Education to Employment” programme in Rasina County, visited the villages around Kruševac and organised a presentation of the programme in the school for primary education of adults with the aim to ensure that information about work-Based Learning (WBL) courses implemented within this Project  reach all prospective candidates.

 

When visiting rural communities, they talked with the secretaries, explained the nature of the courses, and left flyers and promotional material for the youth of this region.

 

“The idea was to visit the villages in the vicinity of Kruševac, to reach young people who live in that region, to inform them about the professions for which they can train within our Project, as well as to motivate them to get involved,” Sanja Nikolić from Educational Centre, the “Education to Employment” project’s  person responsible for Work-Based Learning (WBL), said.

 

 

Visiting the school for primary education of adults, which is operational within Kruševac “Vuk Karadžić“ primary school, is yet another among the activities aimed at finding the candidates for work-based learning.

 

“The representatives of this school are very eager to involve their students in the work-based learning programme, for the professions which are currently in demand. Their students are young people who acquire primary education in this school but also expect to gain some specific practical knowledge which could, in the long term, provide for them the opportunity to earn their living, so that this programme is exactly what they need,” she said.

 

Most of the students of the above-mentioned school belong to the population younger than 35 – which means that they are eligible for the “Education to Employment” programme.

 

Now available for the prospective candidates are the training courses for welders, locksmiths, CNC operators, warehouse workers, and, since recently, operators in cardboard packaging production and sewers.

 

Nikolić mentioned that the candidates rarely decide on the training for welders and CNC operators because they believe that these jobs are strenuous.

 

She added that coronavirus epidemic also contributed since it reduced the visibility of the training organised within this Project. Namely, there were no employment fairs and, for the most part of the year, it was impossible to hold informative sessions in schools. Moreover, large Kruševac companies such as “Kromberga”, “Henkel”, and “Kupera” have, in the recent period, intensively looked for workers in similar professions.

 

Within the last cycle of the “Education to Employment” project, work-based learning courses were implemented in “Milošević doo” company in which about thirty trainees learnt how to do a job of the warehouse worker, as well as in “Breza” wood-processing shop where a CNC operator was trained.

 

At present training for waiters is taking place in two coffeeshops in Kruševac and in one coffeeshop in Trstenik.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković

 

E2E story – Getting practice for a job that is in demand and well-paid

E2E story – Getting practice for a job that is in demand and well-paid

Kruševac: The representatives of the “Education to Employment” project presented to the final-year students of the First Technical School in Kruševac – the departments for CNC operators, welders, and mechanic of cooling devices – the possibilities for on-the-job training implemented within that Project, and informed them about the possibilities of career guidance and counselling. 

 

“Our idea was to promote, among the students who have just finished secondary school, the possibility for them to acquire additional skills and knowledge, and primarily the practice relating to the profession for which they went to school,” Sanja Nikolić from the Kruševac Educational Centre said. She is in charge of WBL in the “Education to Employment” programme.

 

According to her, WBL has enabled those young people to discover whether they really want those professions to be the professions of their life. The trainees who like the job could stay and work because all companies which applied for training need new workers.

 

 

She mentioned that the opportunity offered by one of those companies is particularly interesting.

 

“Youth needs to be explained all the possibilities. One of the companies which implements the training offers them opportunity to work independently later; namely, to start their own business and use the company’s equipment, premises, and commercial associates – something like an incubator,” she explained.

 

Youth were distributed flyers with information about the services provided within the “Education to Employment” programme, that is the contact-data of the persons they may contact about the WBL as well as career counselling.

 

“Ever since the schools opened, our focus has been on the informative sessions. We strived to ensure that as many students as possible are informed about what we do because the time we could spend in school was short – the duration of lessons was half an hour,” representatives of the “Education to Employment” project explained.

 

Career guidance and counselling here is linked with competences and the inclusion of young people in the WBL, with the contact with the employers with whom they acquired practical knowledge about whatever they learnt in school.  

 

“At the same time, we drew their attention to career guidance and counselling considering that some of them will continue their education,” Tijana Stefanović from the Educational Centre said. She is also a career counsellor in the “Education to Employment” project.

 

 

Two of them confirmed that this is about specific professions which are in demand and well-paid, but which young people perceive as hard and demanding.

 

“Young people rarely decide on those professions because they believe that they are arduous. Also, the training lasts a long time and one needs to commit to it. We try to motivate the youth, to call them again and additionally explain everything they need to know,” Tijana Stefanović said.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković

 

E2E story – Career counselling in school again

E2E story – Career counselling in school again

Kruševac: Pupils are back in classroom and career counselling is back in schools

 

Pupils returning to classrooms made it possible for career guidance and counselling within the “Education to Employment” project – which, due to the pandemic, mainly took place online – to also return to schools. With ‘live’ info sessions and workshops, the implementation of online workshops and individual sessions, which became an integral part of regular career guidance and counselling (CGC) services, continued.

 

„Within CGC services, we are currently implementing group career counselling or workshops, as well as group info sessions in primary schools, pupils in the eighth grade and students of secondary schools in the territory of Rasina County. Individual career counselling sessions are organised for the youth who apply for our WBL programmes, for competency assessment purposes“, Tijana Stefanović from Kruševac Educational Centre said. She is in charge of career guidance and counselling in the “Education to Employment” programme.

 

It is planned that work with pupils takes place in June, in cooperation with schools.

 

 

„I really need to commend the pedagogues and psychologists for their understanding and the teachers for letting us use the time of their lessons to establish contact with pupils, particularly bearing in mind that the duration of their lessons is 30 minutes and that this is the time when they intensively work on grading their pupils. Thus far, five workshops and 12 info sessions have been organised for more than 200 young people“, Stefanović mentioned.

 

She noted that online individual sessions and group career guidance and counselling workshops – developed to suit the needs of the youth – became a part of the standard palette of CGC services.

 

„Currently most commonly implemented are online individual counselling and information sessions while group activities are implemented in schools, within direct conversation with young people, always in accordance with applicable health protection and safety measures. The goal is that as many people as possible are provided information about the project and the career guidance and counselling services so that they can understand how important it can be for them in the coming period“, career counsellor explained.

 

She mentioned that online school resulted in pupils loosening up, in self-motivation for learning becoming an issue at the time when most students are facing entrance exams and that the focus of CGC was therefore on this challenge of theirs. 

 

Anđela Radojičić from Aleksandrovac who is attending final year of secondary school said that individual online counselling helped her solve a dilemma regarding what university studies to choose. She was approaching the end of her “Sveti Trifun” school, department for food technicians, and were undecided between two department at the Faculty of Agriculture.

 

„Tijana Stefanović visited us at the school, told us about career counselling, and left contact-data so that we can call and have the counselling. We had two online sessions after which I decided on the department I want to enrol. That is why I invite all who have a dilemma or have not yet decided what they want to study, to have this counselling – it really meant a lot to me“, Anđela said.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković

 

E2E story – Through training to a desirable job

E2E story – Through training to a desirable job

Kruševac: Five young people to attend training for waiters

 

The training for the job of a waiter/barman, within the “Education to Employment” project began and five young people from Kruševac and Trstenik started to attend lectures which are held by experienced teachers for the Chemical/Technological School.

 

After ten-day theoretical training, these young people will continue their work-based learning, and it is expected that in two months they will be ready for the job of a waiter and, if they prove to be worthy, stay and work in the facilities in which they train.

 

Teachers who teach at the Catering Department of the Chemical/Technological School, Bogoljub Đukić and Nataša Vujošević, should ensure that the trainees are ready to work in catering facilities.

 

„This means that we teach them to open and close the facility, hand over/take over a shift, and we also teach them how to communicate with the patrons, service drinks and foods; and we teach them about inventory taking and stock management“, Đukić explained.

 

 

The trainees, most of whom do not have educational background in catering, learn how to welcome and serve the patrons, how to bill them and see them off, how to hand over the shift.

 

Within theoretical training they learn how to keep log of daily turnover of foods and drinks, and a bar log, how to operate different appliances and machines (such as a beer tap), and they are also taught good manners.

 

„After the training they will be able to do their job independently, unsupervised, as well as to replace the restaurant manager in some specific situations“, Đukić said.

 

 

Sanela Salakovac (20) and Kristina Delibašić (19) are from Trstenik, and they will attend practical training in that city’s “Caffe” coffeeshop.

 

Even though she finished secondary economic school, department for business administrator, Sanela prefers to see herself doing the job of a waiter in future. So far she has been doing some jobs outside her profession and she feels positive that the job for which she is training now suits her the best.

 

„I am a people’s person, I like working with people, I prefer it to working in the production as I did on my previous job“, Sanela said.

 

 

Kristina finished secondary technical school, department for mechatronics technician. 

 

„I did not want to look for a job in my profession because I do not like that job. Earlier I worked in a coffeeshop and when I learnt that this training may be organised I applied since I like this job. It is not monotonous, something new is always happening“, Kristina explained her reasons to attend training for waiters.

 

 

Mihajlo Knežević (18), who is a waiter by profession, applied for the training since he sees it as a good way to show himself in the best light to the employer and then get a job.

 

„I really like the job of a waiter. I really like it and I believe that I will do it forever“, Mihajlo, who will, together with another trainee, attend the training in Kruševac “Paradox cafe”. 

 

 

In “But 037” coffeeshop, one trainee will be attending the training for the job of a waiter/barman.

 

Overall, the training should be finished before the middle of July.

 

„We expect that five well-trained waiters will stay to work in these facilities because they have vacancies there“, Sanja Nikolić from Kruševac Educational Centre said. She is in charge of the WBL programme implementation within the “Education to Employment” project.

 

Text and photo: Jelena Božović / Edited by: Sandra Vlatković