ACTIVITIES

The Skilled Up Project comes to an end

Article in the Baltic Business Quarterly December 2021

When you think of the Baltic landscape, you think not only of the impressive Baltic Sea, but also of the beautiful forests. Working with wood has a long tradition here and forestry is an important part of the national economy in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In recent years, however, there has been a growing problem of too few workers with the necessary contemporary skills and ideas.

That is why we decided to start “Skilled Up”. Actually, the title is a bit more complex: “Skills for the Baltic Wood industry – European Quality in Vocational Education and Training” was launched in 2018. The opportunity to train skilled workers in the forestry sector was linked to our desire to establish work-based learning (WBL) in the Baltic countries.

We presented the success of the project on 16 September at the hybrid final conference in Riga. Speakers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Germany shared their experiences, while stakeholders discussed the development of similar projects in other industries.

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Interview with Eugenija Novicki-Bittner

We talked to Eugenija Novicki-Bittner, project manager in the vocational training department of the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce, about the project.

The Skilled Up project period is coming to an end. What has been achieved in 3 years?

We achieved a great deal. First of all, we brought together the representatives of the wood industry and educational institutions in the Baltic states in order to find out what skills specialists lack the most. To this end, 10 modules have been developed and are already being taught successfully together with partners from the Rosenheim Institute in Germany. Throughout the project, we had the opportunity to monitor, adjust and improve the curriculum, depending on how students see it and, of course, the companies that send students to improve their qualifications.

The project has initiated long-term changes and has had a positive impact on education systems in the Baltics. The transferability of the implemented approaches will provide tools for adopting the results in other countries and sectors.

What concrete benefits did the participants gain from the project? What feedback did you get?

During the project, we asked participants (employers, teachers and students) to rate their experience: Almost all participants in all the Baltic countries agreed that the subjects taught were relevant and important as well as preventive for the future. That’s fantastic news for us! Our goal was to give the students a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge that is most relevant to the market. What’s more, bearing in mind that Industry Revolution 4.0 is already here, we see that the market requires an increasingly new approach to production, seeing not only the individual processes but also the big picture. Of course, it is also important to emphasize the "green course of production" and digitalization. We paid a lot of attention to these topics in the training materials and in our experience sharing.

We are sure that the students participating in our project have acquired new, relevant competencies and skills which will help them to continue their successful careers.

What role did the AHK play in the project design?

AHK was not only the project founder, but also led the organization and administrative work. As Germany has extensive experience in dual vocational training, we shared this knowledge with the project participants. Furthermore, we managed the project dissemination and ensured the project’s sustainability. As the largest Chamber of Commerce in the Baltics with a network of almost 400 members, we aspire to build a bridge between the Baltics and other countries. That’s what we did with Skilled Up!

How do you see the future of Skilled Up?

We hope that other organizations will also benefit from the program in future, as it can be extended to other industries. In this way, the vast German expertise can be transferred on a European level. We see the dynamics of various industries in the Baltic countries and also hear what specialists are most lacking for companies developing production in the Baltic countries.

During recent years, the development of work-based learning (WBL) has been a priority of vocational education and training (VET) policy in the Baltic states and Europe. However, the main activities and improvements are focused on secondary level VET, and there are minimal elements of WBL and quality assurance (EQAVET) in the next stages, including EQF level 5 VET.

Further promotion should be achieved through various actions, such as creating a sector skills alliance, guaranteeing a further exchange of experience and information, developing a European quality VET training program which aims to improve the skills of the labour force in the wood processing sector in the Baltic states in the future, and similar activities.

The AHK is always interested in supporting educational projects, so I am sure that many interesting projects will follow.

Thank you!

The interview was conducted by Meta Friedrich

The achieved main objectives

  • Strengthening cooperation between VET institutions and industry representatives

  • Improving quality of VET institutions by introducing the WBL program for internationally recognized qualifications in line with EU quality instruments

  • Improving skills and providing strategy and instruments to address skills shortages in the wood processing sector

  • Fostering economic development and innovation of the sector by preparing specialists in line with labour market needs

  • Investing in understanding – digital technologies, mobility and zero-waste production are drivers of change

Main results

  • WBL training program for EQF level 5 in wood processing sector, approbated in VET institutions and enterprises in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia

  • Guidelines for developing WBL training program and applying EQAVET indicators, multiplication at EU level

  • Established partnership – wood sector skills alliance in Baltic states and Germany – with potential of wider, long-term cooperation of VET providers, industry representatives and stakeholders

Presentation Of Certificates To Skilled Up Project Students In Lithuania

(16.10.2021)

On October 16, a special event took place at Kauno kolegija - Kaunas College Study Center - presentation of certificates to Skilled up project students in Lithuania.

The main goal of the almost three-year-long project Skills for the Baltic Wood Industry - European Quality in Vocational Education and Training (Skilled-Up) is to improve the skills of professionals working in the Baltic woodworking sector. Skilled-Up project activities are aimed at promoting lifelong learning, improving cooperation between businesses and educational institutions, and ensuring favorable conditions for professional development in the work environment.

Close cooperation between higher education institutions and wood industry companies, short-cycle studies aimed at improving the existing qualifications - reasons to look back to the perspectives of wood processing sector.

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"Skilled-Up" Project Presentation in Estonia

(23.09.2021)

On 23.09.2021 the "Skilled Up" project in Estonia was presented at Tartu VEC International. Võru County Vocational Training School shared the experience with organization of training and development of curriculum. Project manager Astrid Org showed the videos about the training process and the final projects of students and described the content of the curriculum itself.

Together the participants discussed organizational issues and possibilities to implement the curriculum after the project. One of the problems is implementation time. Participants agreed that to further develop work-based learning the study process should be more flexible for both vocational schools and trainees.

 

Videos from the event are available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJhj7b5duW4

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Training Updates from Latvia

(17.09.2021)

On 17.09.2021. first group of 11 participants in Latvia finished their training program and presented their final projects. The topics focus on applying the skills gained in the training in the work environment and include optimization and improvement of processes.

 

Following final projects were presented:

 

  • Automatization of roundwood supply to the saw and packing service behind it

  • Launch of standard furniture catalog

  • Basics of training for auxiliary workers and introduction of video materials in the training process in the company "Troja"

  • Internal system development at SIA "Marko KEA" to combine and optimize production, sales, logistics and procurement work

  • Packing workplace research and optimization

  • Update and revision of guidelines for public procurement providers (furniture procurement)

  • Human resources management at SIA "ZAZA Timber"

  • Improving the production volume and efficiency of the “Basecamp” model

  • Development of production equipment maintenance system at SIA "ZAZA Timber”

 

We congratulate all the graduates and wish them all the best in their future!

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Picture: Example from final project of Dāvids Katkovskis “Furniture catalog”

"Skilled-Up" Final Conference

(16.09.2021)

Today the "Skilled-Up” final conference took place live at “Pullman Hotel Rīga” and online on Youtube channel of German - Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK). Participants could follow the presentations about internationalization of vocational education training, development of EQF level 5 training programs in Europe and Baltic States and “Skilled-Up” project results. Afterwards the stakeholders discussed development of similar projects in other industries and signed the letter of intent to cooperate in the future.

Thanks to our speakers – Florian Schröder (AHK), David Johnsson ( European Confederation of Woodworking Industries/ CEI-Bois), Alexander Hochradel (German Federal Ministry of Educationa dn Research), Rita Kask ( Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia), Dr. Agne Kudarauskiene ( Ministry of Education, Science, and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania), Rūta Gintaute Marihina ( Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia), Eugenija Novicki-Bittner (AHK), Artūrs Bukonts ( Latvian Association of Wood processing Entrepreneurs and Export (LKUEA)), Dr. Giedrius Gecevičius and Viktorija Gudauskaite ( Kaunas University of Applied Sciences), Tomas Interesovas ( “Theca Furniture” UAB), Giedrius Pilkis (Association of Wood Producers and Exporters of West Lithuania) and Peter Hörr (Lehrinstitut Rosenheim e.V.) ! We also thank Ronalds Saksons (National Centre of Education of the Republic Latvia) and Samanta Garbenčiene ( SBA Home) for participation in the panel discussion!

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The presentations are available here:

  1. David Johnsson: Overview of the European Woodworking Industry:employment, challenges and opportunities

  2. Rita Kask: 5th level VET in Estonia

  3. Rūta Gintaute Marihina: Current situation in VET, level EQF 5 in Latvia

  4. Dr. Agne Kudrauskiene : EQF/LTQF Qualifications in Lithuania

  5. Eugenija Novicki-Bittner: Erasmus+ Project “Skilled-Up”

  6. Astrid Org: “Skilled-Up” project in Estonia (+ Video)

  7. Artūrs Bukots: “Skilled-Up” project experience in Latvia

  8. Dr. Giedrius Gecevičius, Viktorija Gudauskaite, Tomas Interesovas: Short-cycle higher education as a part of industry development

  9. Peter Hörr: Further education for technical jobs in Germany

The video recording of the conference is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WtbTkNz5_Q

Training Updates from Estonia
(30.06.2021)

Congratulations to the newly graduated participants of the second training group "The first level manager in the wood processing sector" at Võru County Vocational Training Centre in Väimela in Estonia! As their final project participants prepared three cat houses, which were donated to Võru Shelter.

We are glad about the feedback, that Skilled-Up / Skills for Baltic Wood Industry is really filling a gap in the conventional education system.

Thanks a lot  to Astrid Org for taking care of the project in Estonia!

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“Skilled-Up” Student Mobilities Online Part II

(19.05.2021)

In the second part of "Skilled-Up" online student mobility participants found out about innovations and sustainability measures of Baltic wood-processing companies! Thanks to the speakers – Hille Lillemägi (Furniture Cluster of South-East Estonia), Remo Allikas (Võru Empak), Gatis Ķepītis (Latvijas Finieris), Egidijus Mockus (VMG CORP), Fredi Kaasik (Thermory), Audrius Čičirka (Freda), Samanta Garbenčiene (SBA Home)!

After the presentations participants worked together in groups to analyse and brainstorm which green skills and technologies are/can be used in the future at their companies! Thanks to Karolis Proscevičius (Green Energy) for moderation of workshops and Mantas Kazlauskas (1Vienintelis) for technical preparation and moderation of the event!

Video recording is available here

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“Skilled-Up” Student Mobilities

(12.05.2021)

Today the first part of "Skilled-Up" online student mobility took place! The pandemic did not allow us to meet live but we still managed to find out lots of interesting information about wood- processing industry in Baltics! Thanks to our speakers - Eugenija Novicki-Bittner (AHK) Giedrius Pilkis (Association of Wood Producers and Exporters of West Lithuania), Artūrs Bukonts (Latvian Association of Wood-processing Entrepreneurs and Exporters), Hille Lillemägi (Furniture Cluster of South-East Estonia), Henrik Välja (Estonian Forest and Wood Industries Association), Giedrius Gecevičius and Vytautas Čapas (Kauno Kolegija), Kārlis Pugovičs (Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies) and Astrid Org (Võrumaa Kutseharisduskeskus, Tsenter)! Thanks to all participants and see you on 19.05.2021!

Video recording is available here.

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Project Progress in Baltics
(11.05.2021)

Find out more about “Skilled-Up” training program in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

in the video below!

Estonia

Latvia

Lithuania

Feedback from Training Participants in Latvia

(16.04.2021)

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"Skilled-Up gave me the opportunity to become more competent and competitive in my field. I have acquired knowledge that already helps me to do my job at a higher level. This program provided me with information about woodworking in Latvia and the world in general, as well as new communication skills, great experience in knowing and analyzing different types of people. My employer is definitely a winner too, because now there is a much more knowledgeable and professional leader in the team.”

Ingus Freibergs, Latvijas Finieris

"Compared to the classic type of university, the “Skilled-Up” experience is different and modern. In this program, teachers show both theoretically and practically how processes work in a company. For me personally, it has strengthened the belief that the right answers come from a combination of proven knowledge and a modernly adapted approach, relevant and well-thought-out calculation."

Agris Čivčs

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“I am a timber purchasing specialist, and in my professional activity I have understood that to do my job well, it is necessary to have a perfect knowledge of woodworking processes. This program has given me the opportunity to assess and understand how many processes and elements are interrelated in woodworking, not only from the technological process, which I already know, but also from the financial, administrative and management fields. 

I have acquired knowledge and competencies that will help not only me, but also my company to be more competitive.”

Kristaps Vēzis, SIA “MARKO KEA“

“In the "Skilled-Up" project, four days a month, we have stepped out of our daily routine, we have agreed to gain new knowledge, and to strengthen the existing ones. However, the big bonus or the most significant benefit is the mutual communication, exchange of experience and learning from so many different sub-sectors of wood-processing industry and so many different cases and situations. For me as a representative of the Latvian Forest Industry Federation, it is a great opportunity to be with companies in the industry and their leaders, practitioners, to learn from them and with them, as well as to remind them that the representation and changes in the industry are possible thanks to them, their participation in associations and issues relevant to the industry.”

Ieva Erele, Latvian Forest Industry Federation

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“Skilled-Up” Project Manager Meets Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania

(15.04.2021)

AHK representatives and “Skilled-Up” project manager Eugenija Novicki- Bittner participated in a meeting with Lithuanian Ministry of Education, Science and Sports represented by Deputy Minister Dr. Agnė Kudarauskienė. In this meeting participants discussed “Skilled- Up” project and agreed that Deputy Minister Dr. Agne Kudarauskienė or another representative of the Ministry will attend project final Conference in Riga on 16.09.2021. Moreover, further strengthening of educational programs on European Qualification level 5 In Lithuania was discussed. We are happy to inform important stakeholders about our project and develop further cooperation!

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Skilled-Up Project Presentation in Lithuania

(13.04.2021)

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Today we had the possibility to share the information about our project with VET teachers and company representatives in Lithuania! Eugenija Novicki-Bittner from German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce presented the project and project results, Arvydas Urbis from the Association of Wood Producers and Exporters of West Lithuania presented the new tendencies and necessary competencies in the wood industry and Vytautas Čapas from Kauno kolegija shared the insights in the training program.

Thanks to the presenters and participants for the interesting event!

Presentations from the event are available here:

 Best Practice Experience Exchange with Lehrinstitut Rosenheim e.V.

(30.03.2021)

Today Skilled-Up project partners and teachers of educational institutions met online with German partners Lehrinstitut Rosenheim e.V. to exchange best practice regarding the organization of education programs in wood industry. Thanks to CEO of Lehrinstitut Rosenheim Peter Hörr for the interesting presentations and to participants for their questions and discussion!

The presentation on "German education system for professional training" is available here.

The presentation on "Further Education (FE) for technical jobs (master craftsman) in Germany" is available here

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Employers and Participants about Skilled-Up Training Program

(24.03.2021)

Continuous Staff Development is Important

Mida Kalvaitienė, Head of the Personnel and Occupational Safety and Health Department at Theca Furniture UAB, Lithuania

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Theca Furniture is a Danish-owned upholstered furniture manufacturer with about 800 specialists in various fields and profiles, from tailors and upholsterers to designers, accountants, and staff specialists.

The company pays special attention to the quality of its’ products and production efficiency, in addition, during 2021 the company intends to create more than 300 new jobs in Lithuania. Therefore, the competence of employees in all areas is very important for the company, and I believe that the main task of the head of the personnel and occupational safety and health department is to ensure that the company's products are manufactured only by employees of appropriate competence.

In my opinion, the competences of employees must be constantly raised, using various methods: rotating employees, allowing them to participate in lectures, observing processes, the work of other employees and providing an opportunity to share experiences with employees of other companies. Therefore, the company participates in various initiatives and projects, one of which is Skilled-up.

Participation in the Skilled-up training program has paid off for our company. Our employee, working in the company as an upholsterer, gained both theoretical and practical knowledge in various aspects related to production: quality management, communication, raw material supply chain, occupational safety and health and environmental protection. The employee especially appreciates the unique opportunity provided by the Skilled-up training program to meet employees of other companies and share experiences.

I sincerely hope that the program will continue and that other Theca Furniture employees will have the opportunity to participate.

Development of a New Brand

Martin Lõkov, product designer and owner of Darkenergy OÜ, Estonia

The program is very useful. It covers a wide range of necessary topics and aspects in the respective industry. Our lecturers are all very professional, you just enjoy attending these lectures. But the magic part is making new friends and finding business partners.

The only drawback is one missing day in the work week. One impressive turnout is that TSENTER (VET provider) is interested in me giving lectures about product design to entrepreneurs and students. The second and even more important result of this program is an established partnership between me and Kase Furniture OÜ (one of the participants in the Skilled-up program). At this point we have a new brand developed, two new products ready to launch soon and a few products in late development stages. And this is just the beginning of our partnership.

This program should definitively be extended in every possible way and expanded to other segments and industries. In my case it has been a miraculous catalyst for my business strivings. The Skilled-Up program has brought in a huge amount of designer work and provided possibilities that I could not have dreamt of before entering this program.

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Broadening  Horizons

Hannes Kail, design & sales at Aruut OÜ, Estonia

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This program is definitely very useful. Both in terms of knowledge and local social life. We gain a lot of new knowledge and acquaintances in our field.

I cannot point out any disadvantages - there are none. There are many advantages - this training opens your eyes and provides new knowledge. It helps me to refresh what I learned before. The center has very modern equipment and very good teachers.

This program needs to be expanded, there is a great shortage of trained workers in our field. There could and will certainly be other programs in other industries. For example, in the metal industry, in the food industry. The experiences of the other participants broaden the horizon and help to rethink.

Gathering New Know-how

Mindaugas Naujokaitis, Participant of the Skilled-Up Training Program, Lithuania

“I like this program not only because it expands the circle of acquaintances, but also because I acquire a lot of new knowledge,” he emphasizes. The negative aspect, what he mentions is, that because of Covid-19 pandemic the lectures take place online and sometimes there are technical difficulties.” Nevertheless, the Skilled-up training program fully lives up to Mindaugas expectations: “I expected to gather new know-how and qualifications and that did indeed happen. I find it is for me now easier to communicate with managers.” About his future after the completion of the program he is still undecided: “I see two possibilities. The first is to find a job as a production manager or furniture designer, and the second is to start my own business,” says Mindaugas.

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"Skilled-Up" training program on Latvian television 

(28.02.2021)

Latvian project partners Artūrs Bukonts (CEO of Latvian Association of Woodworking Entrepreneurs and Exporters) and Sigita Liše (Head of the Department of Woodworking, Faculty of Forestry, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies) participated in the program “Master. Land. Country.” on Latvian TV Channel Rīga 24 and informed wider audiences about the training program and possibilities to participate.

Video recording is available here.

Interviews with Employers in the “Baltic Business Quarterly”

Spring 2021 Issue

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In the new issue of the business magazine “Baltic Business Quarterly” you can read more about the project in an interview with employers of Latvian companies participating in the “Skilled-Up” training program (05.02.2021)

The article is available here:  

The online version of the whole magazine is available here

© AHK

Participating Latvian Companies about Skilled – Up Training Program

Gain more competent managers!

Gatis Eglītis, Executive Director of SIA IKTK

05.02.2021

"Thanks to the Skilled-up program we will have more competent managers who will have a much better understanding of the processes in the company and will be able to manage production. During this program, we trained two first level managers who both have a great deal of practical work experience but no background in wood processing. The Skilled-up program is not a classical education, but it is aimed at acquiring practical skills and sharing experiences, which is also a great advantage of the program. Training the employees in Skilled-up is also an investment in the future and competitiveness of the company. Although there is always a risk that a well-trained employee will leave the company, I believe that the risk is even greater if you do not train the employees and they stay in the company. I can only say that both managers who participate in the Skilled-up training program have already proposed several novelties which they have seen in an exchange of experiences in other companies. This is also proof of what this training and education program brings."

Andrejs Domkins, Production Manager of SIA IKTK

"In almost in every part of the program, we have worked practically and have been able to prove ourselves. In this way, we have experienced and learned new things. I found the visits to other companies particularly useful because they gave me new ideas. The communication with the other first level managers gave me the opportunity to look at the same problem from several angles and to find different solutions."

Divisional manager expands his knowledge

Andris Koris, Member of the Board of SIA Konto

Andris Koris, Member of the Board of SIA Konto

“We have trained one of our employees Gatis Kļaviņš with the Skilled-up program. He has been working in our company for 18 years and was promoted to the position of production manager two years ago. He had gained prior knowledge in wood processing in the technical school of Cesis.

The main benefit of participating in this program is that, after the training, Gatis always talks with interest about what he has heard, seen, and learned. This already proves that the training is interesting and useful. I do not think you can measure everything in numbers only. I very much hope that after this training the new managers will have fewer unfamiliar terms, more contacts, more insight into the processes and more courage to face all production challenges. I also very much hope that the theoretical knowledge gained will give them more conviction and strengthen them as leaders in their teams.

Employees are trained to become better managers

Gunita Meiere, Head of the Personnel Development Service of AS “Latvijas Finieris”

Gunita Meiere, Head of the Personnel Development Service

The training program is based on the German experience, adapted to the needs of the Baltic wood industry. There are basics of work-based education in Latvia, however, the approach of the mentioned program is different. In Latvia, a young person first finds a school, which then looks for an employer to train the young person in the work environment. In turn, the German approach is that the employer offers the employee to acquire additional professional knowledge, which is necessary for the successful performance in a particular position (for example, a manager). It is undeniable that the motivation to learn of a person who has already found his / her job and profession, has proven himself / herself and wants to grow professionally is many times higher than those who have not yet worked in the respective job. We have involved four employees in this training program. However, the employer must consider that these four people study twice a week and therefore must plan who will replace them during this time.

Existing or future first-level managers need extensive knowledge not only of production processes, but also of many other areas. An exchange of experience with colleagues from Lithuania and Estonia during the training program was also planned, but this may not be the case during Covid-19 pandemic. I am convinced that after completing this training program, existing or future first-level managers will be at a much higher level, which will benefit both themselves and the company. The second goal of this program was to develop a training program and accredit it in an educational institution, thus making the project accessible to a much wider range of stakeholders. Currently, the whole pilot project is based on wood-processing, but in the future, this valuable experience may be used in other sectors.

Knowledge - a precondition for increasing competitiveness

Andis Araks, Managing Director of SIA “Krauzers”

Andis Araks, Managing Director

Expanding the knowledge and raising the qualification of managers is a precondition for increasing competitiveness in the whole company.

Andis Araks, Chairman of the Board of SIA “ Krauzers”, sees such benefits in the perspective of training two employees within the framework of this program. "The benefit of the company is undoubtedly the opportunity to increase the knowledge and qualifications of its employees, which in turn will be able to use the acquired knowledge for better performance of duties and improvement of various processes," A. Araks answers the question of the benefits of this training program. He recognizes that in today's world, knowledge plays a crucial role in both productivity (efficiency) and resource saving, because everything is based on work organization, where nuances play a crucial role. A. Araks positively evaluates the offered educational program. "It was a great opportunity to learn various topics in depth, to expand knowledge, which can later be used to improve various processes within the company," explains A. Araks. He emphasizes that it was possible to exchange experiences during the practical classes, by visiting various leading companies in his field: " Practical classes mainly took place at the time when companies related to the topic were visited and they were mainly connected with the production process, which allowed to better understand the topic."

Training Updates from Estonia

 

The second Skilled- Up project training group started on 10.09.20 in Võru, Estonia. 14 participants from 11 different companies began their training course “The first level manager in wood processing sector".

 

Meanwhile, the first group finished their training on 2.10.2020. As a final project the participants prepared doll houses which were presented as gifts to local kindergartens. We are happy about positive feedback from participants and wish them good luck!

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Copyright: Tsenter

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Copyright: Tsenter

Skilled-Up in the “Baltic Business Quarterly”

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In the new issue of the business magazine “Baltic Business Quarterly” you can read more about the project in an interview with Artūrs Bukonts, Managing Director at LKUEA, Astrid Org, Manager at “Tsenter” and Dr. Giedrius Gesevičius, Dean of the Faculty of Technology  at Kauno Kolegija.

(03.09.2020)

 

The interview is available here:

 

Online version if the whole magazine is available here:

 

© AHK

“Skilled-Up” Project Presented at Online Discussion “Work-based Learning in Higher Education”

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On 2.07.2020 representatives of employers and educational institutions discussed implementation possibilities of work-based learning in higher education in an online discussion organised by Employers’ Confederation of Latvia.

 

Dr. silv. Sigita Liše from our project partner organisation Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technology presented “Skilled-Up” project developments und further planned activities. The recording of the discussion is available here:

Erasmus + Project Partner Online Meeting

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Project partner meeting on 23.03.2020 had to take place online due to the “Covid-19” pandemic. However, the meeting went well, and partners were able to discuss the planned agenda – progress of training in all three Baltic countries and future plans. 

In all three countries the piloting of the training program has started in autumn 2019. Each country has managed to pilot one module and start the second. Feedback from training program participants and their employers has been very positive. Participants are satisfied with training program contents and work-based learning.

Currently, the training in all three countries is paused due to the pandemic. However, project partners are working on possible solutions in the time of crisis and planning activities for the next project period including continuation of the training program and start of student mobilities.

The Training has started

Training starts at Kauno Kolegija, Lithuania. Copyright: Ugne Capa

In October 2019, the training program “Production Management in Woodworking” was launched in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Two thirds of the training will take place in companies in each country, as well as during mobility visits to companies in other Baltic states. Participants of the first trainings are 50 representatives of different manufacturing companies. They will be piloting the program for the next two years so that it can meet the educational needs of the industry and become available to a wider audience.

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Copyright: AHK

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Copyright: Kauno Kolegija

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Copyright: Võrumaa Vocational Education Center

Erasmus + Project Partner Meeting in Vaimela, Estonia

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From 6 to 7 June 2019, the Skilled-UP project partners met in TSENTER, the competence center for woodworking and furniture manufacturing, in Vaimela, Estonia. Purpose of the meeting was the further development of the modular curriculum for the advanced training program for technical employees of the woodworking industry. Preliminary results were discussed, content adjusted, and next steps decided.

The training will consist of the following 10 modules: Industrial Design; Industrial Technology; Communication Methods; Operational Cost; Business management; Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection; Planning, Control and Communication Systems; Leadership and Personnel Development; People Management and the Qualification Project. From September 2019, the first modules will be launched in the partner countries. We are happy to receive inquiries from companies interested in this further education.

Please contact us at Dominic.Otto@ahk-balt.org for more information!

Project Kick-Off Meeting in Rosenheim & Follow-Up Meeting in Riga

There have already been two meetings of the project partners of the project "Skilled-Up": from 15 to 16 January 2019 to the kick-off meeting in the German city of Rosenheim, as well as to the follow-up meeting on 22 February in Riga, Latvia. During the meetings, the partners discussed the first steps and concrete content and structural topics for the development of the work-based learning program (WBL) at level EQF 5 in the woodworking industry. Over the next few months, local expert groups from the respective project partner countries will meet to develop the module descriptions and content for the curriculum.

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