In cooperation with its partners, and with the support of the Prime Minister, the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SP ČR) declared 2015 the Year of industry and technical education. Outcomes include systemic changes, sectoral agreements in selected industries, and more than 400 events.
The Confederation of Industry is the largest employers’ association in the Czech Republic representing a substantial part of Czech industry and transport (10 500 companies). About 150 participant organisations – including sectoral unions and associations, companies, schools, ministries, government organisations and regions – contributed to the Year of industry and technical education. Its relevance is apparent from the fact that the Czech Republic has the highest proportion of people employed in industrial sectors in the EU and, thanks to its quality labour force, is an investor-sought country.
More than 30 entrepreneurial, technical, student and innovation competitions were organised. There were seven large discussions panels and more than 30 professional events focusing on education, labour market and innovations, with the highest-level representatives. Primary and secondary school learners and higher education students were supported to visit various trade fairs and more than 60 open-door days were organised in companies and schools.
An important target group of many activities was parents, as they have influence on their children’s education choices, and most still see vocational schools as a lesser option. A new interactive electronic publication called Almanac of technical education has been developed for parents. It presents a range of almost 500 secondary schools providing education in technical fields, including 70 good practice examples of cooperation between schools and companies. The almanac is available online: www.RokPrumyslu.eu.
Measures supporting systemic changes were intensified under the campaign umbrella. The most important include signing the national agreement on human resources development, eight sectoral agreements for selected industries, and thirteen regional sectoral agreements. These agreements should improve cooperation among companies, schools and regional administration and also support further use of the national register of qualifications and the national register of occupations.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports prepared recommendations on contractual relationships between employers and learners, including agreements on the provision of the learner’s allowance. From 2016 the Confederation of Industry has an option to comment on modifications related to school capacity and programmes.