September 20, 2021 marked the start of the practical part of the first "Electrification of production" class in the dual education system, jointly developed by ABB and PGEE. The 14 grade 11 students will spend two days every week working in the ABB factory in Rakovski and its production base in Plovdiv to develop their pactical knowledge and skills.
During their first day, students arrived at the ABB factory and were welcomed by Ivan Vodenchev, Branch Manager of ABB Rakovski and project colleagues with a short overview of what to expect during their practical training. They underwent a safety induction, had the opportunity to meet their mentors and took part in induction activities before they got the full ‘on-the-job’ experience.
In preparation for the new school year, ABB developed a practical training program that corresponds to the students’ mandatory training, but also keeps pace with the digital world that they will work in. Qualified mentors from ABB underwent special training, so that they could share their knowledge and support the young students on their learning journey.
Dual education is a real opportunity to train future engineers who, by the time they have completed their education, will have already developed strong work ethics gained through valuable experience in a real work environment. The most significant benefit for students is that it allows them to experience different technologies, machines, and technical equipment and gives them the opportunity to work side by side with experienced professionals.
The dual education program also helps their future career development, as they will be able to identify the career role and opportunities that interest them most.
ABB Bulgaria - branch Rakovski started the dual education partnership with the Vocational High School for Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Plovdiv and the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in 2018. The dual education program began with 14 students in the 8th grade from the "Electrification of production" class. In 2018, ABB also participated in the complete renovation of the laboratory for "Electrification of Production", providing some of the electrical equiment and stands for the students to practice on.
In 2019, the "Automation of continuous production" class joined the partnership between ABB and PGEE. In the same year, ABB renovated the laboratory for “Automation of continuous production” for practical training. Currently, more than 100 students have applied to join one of the specialties in the partnering high school dual education program.
ABB supports the development of the PGEE students who are part of the dual education system even further with an extracurricular ABB Club. 10th graders from both classes can take several different courses in pneumatics, electrical engineering, electropneumatics, mechatronics and fault detection. They are trained by a certified mentor from ABB and follow a specific program, supported by learning materials, books and practical stands.
As Ivan Vodenchev, Branch Manager of ABB Bulgaria - branch Rakovski, said: “It’s so rewarding to see this first cohort of students experiencing the work of world in our facilities. This demonstrates ABB’s continuous dedication to developing young talents in the engineering and technical field and investing in the future generation of successful engineers.”