Dual Vocational Education- A ticket to your dream career

Dual Vocational Education- A ticket to your dream career

David Kalimanovski, a dedicated third-year student at ASUC “Boro Petrushevski,” perfectly balances the typical high school life with a hands-on approach to his future career. While he spends his Friday nights with friends, his mornings are committed to mastering his skills as a Traffic Technician specializing in Road Traffic.

“I come here with my classmates, and there’s always work waiting for us. We dive straight into it. One of us fits the exhaust gas probe into the tailpipe, another checks the chassis number, and together, we inspect the vehicle. We monitor the exhaust emissions, verify fuel consumption, and then the vehicle is further inspected by the lead mechanics. Everything we learn in theory, we bring to life here,” David explains.

For David, the “Learning by Doing” methodology isn’t just a concept—it’s a pathway to his dreams. Vocational education is his ticket to achieving his goals.

“After graduating from ASUC ‘Boro Petruševski,’ I plan to further my education at university. My ultimate dream is to open my own technical inspection center and ensure I have a secure future.”

The Mentorship Advantage

David benefits immensely from his mentor’s guidance, which keeps him and his peers engaged and productive. Aleksandar Jovanov, Head of the Technical Inspection Station, underscores the value of practical experience.

“They come here for hands-on lessons and witness the real work process. This way, they’re truly integrated into the workflow, assisting with vehicle inspections and gaining invaluable experience.”

For Jovanov, building trust in a skilled workforce is crucial. This collaboration strengthens ties between educational institutions and the private sector.

“Both schools and the private sector benefit because trained staff are hard to come by these days. This approach allows companies to groom future employees, making it easier to get acquainted with potential hires.”

Helvetas: Bringing Swiss Expertise to Macedonia

The transformation of vocational education in North Macedonia has been significantly bolstered by Helvetas, a Swiss organization that has supported the reform process since 2018. By adapting the Swiss dual education system to local needs, Helvetas has helped create a unique Macedonian dual vocational system that works effectively.

Helvetas’ approach has led to a remarkable increase in the number of companies willing to work with vocational schools and provide practical training for students. This means that more and more students are getting real-world experience, which makes them more employable.

Just a few years ago, in the 2020/2021 school year, only 16 companies were involved in this dual education system. Fast forward to 2023/2024, and that number has skyrocketed to 560 companies. This shows a growing recognition of the benefits that dual education offers both students and businesses.

Students and their parents now see vocational education as a direct route to employment. Instead of viewing secondary education as merely a step towards university, they recognize that vocational training can lead to immediate job opportunities.

Supported by the Swiss Government, the “Education for Employment (E4E)” project promotes lasting changes by encouraging cooperation between private companies, public institutions, and community organizations. This project has played a key role in making vocational education more appealing and effective.

Innovative Collaborations and Future Prospects

ASUC “Boro Petruševski” collaborates with over 30 social partners—companies that provide real-world experience to students. Director Gorancho Nikolovski is confident that dual education is transformative. It not only provides practical skills but also shifts students’ perspectives towards choosing vocational training over traditional academic routes.

“Students are thinking more pragmatically. The future is in these trades, even though they were previously overlooked. The proof? In the last three years, our first-year enrollment has soared from 100 to 250 students. This clearly indicates that young people are waking up to the opportunities we offer. We provide prosperity and perspective for everyone. Not everyone can be a programmer or a doctor,” says Nikolovski.

David Kalimanovski’s story is a testament to the power of dual education and the significant role of Helvetas in transforming vocational training in North Macedonia. Through the right blend of theory and practice, students like David are carving out promising futures in their chosen fields.

By: [Bojan Shashevski, Radio MOF]
Adaptation: [Aleksandra Siljanovska, Communication Advisor at Helvetas North Macedonia]

Original story by Radio MOF: