Even if dual education system in Romania does not officially exist yet, foreign companies on the local market are very interested in the concept and have already begun to launch projects according to the requirements of the system which is applied for many years already in the West (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
Thus, Austrian Embassy in Bucharest – Commercial Section, along with Billa, C&A, Deichmann, Kika, Hervis Sports, Humanic and DM Drogerie Markt launched this May Austrian Commercial School in Romania (Scoala Comerciala Austriaca din Romania – o’SCAR).
„As Commercial Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy I am quite frequently approached by Austrian companies, investors in Romania, who are concerned about an increasing lack of skilled labor in Romania.
The Austrian system of dual education could prove a helpful model in this regard, having two major advantages: it gives businesses the chance to interact with educational institutions on training plans to teach the skills thought after by companies and also offers students a highly practical and attractive training, providing them with an education to succeed on the job market.
A highly skilled labor force is also a substantial competitive advantage for a market to attract investment and to increase the value added of local businesses. The Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy therefore has launched o’SCAR –?coala Comercial? Austriac? din România – a pilot dual education project for skilled retail salesmen, together with a school in Bucharest and six Austrian and one German company (Billa, C&A, Deichmann, Hervis, Humanic, Kika and Telecom Romania).
The project is perceived highly positively, collaboration is excellent and feedback received from all parties involved, the school, students, parents and companies proves that we are on the right path.”
Rudolf LUKAVSKY, Commercial Counsellor at Austrian Embassy in Romania
Deichmann is a German company, but also closely linked to Austria. Why have you decided to get involved in Austrian Embassy project – Austrian Commercial School in Romania (Scoala Comerciala Austriaca din Romania – o’SCAR)?
The dissolution of vocational schools in Romania, in 2009, affected the educational system as a whole, and more importantly, the business environment. The Romanian vocational schooling system is only now beginning to take shape, as the need for professionals is becoming more and more acknowledged. The need for young professionals, who are trained specifically for the field in which they will work, is one of the biggest deficiencies in the labour market today.
Deichmann is directly interested in this matter and this is why we have decided to join the project. Either German or Austrian, the companies involved, along with the institutions and the authorities, follow one common goal – improving the service level of the commerce industry, by having well-trained employees in our stores. We aim at having a positive effect on the market by increasing the competitiveness level and the quality of the jobs.
This is not a new concern for us – over time, Deichmann has developed and implemented different educational projects. However, we consider o’SCAR as one of the largest initiatives of this kind and we are proud to be part of it. This is a project that we intend to support on the long term, due to the fact that it is meant to answer both the needs of the industry, in particular – improving the quality of the buying experience for our customers – and the economy, in general – offering qualifications for an easier access and better paid jobs for the young people.
What are the results so far for Deichmann Romania in this perspective?
Given that the first generation has only now started classes, on September 14th, it is too early to talk about results. But the fact that the students enrolled and are already starting to accumulate the knowledge and experience to become qualified for the jobs that we have is very rewarding for us.
And on the long run, we believe the results will be notable, as the advantage this type of schooling system has is that the students, besides the theoretical aspect specific for the merchant profession, also have the chance to put their knowledge into practice directly in our stores and interact with the most experienced of our employees.
Over the next years, we will support the development of the project and we expect to have more and more students follow this type of vocational schooling, thus offering them a better chance for their future.
What are your estimates for Deichmann following this new concept in Romania, at the end of o’SCAR first edition?
Along with the other companies involved in this project, we are excited that in 3 years we will be able to witness visible results among our employees here at Deichmann, but as well as in other big retailers in Romania. We are convinced that the quality of the services we offer to customers will increase, as we will begin hiring the qualified students. This is one of the most important outcomes of the project, as many students will have a secure workplace in one of the partner companies and will be qualified for the job. On a national level, we hope to become an answer to the general need of qualified workforce.
Augustina ARTEMIE, Head of Marketing – DEICHMANN Romania