Setting up an intercompany training Workshop in Laos

ÜBZO and Lao-German Technical College establish a flexible training model.

For many years, the Lao-German Technical College (LGTC) has been regarded as a flagship for vocational education and training. The state vocational school has been continually developed since the 1960s with German support. BHS Corrugated has worked closely with the LGTC since 2015 in order to train the skilled workers of the future in Laos. The "Überbetriebliche Bildungszentrum in Ostbayern" (ÜBZO) – the intercompany education and training centre in eastern Bavaria – has also been involved in the project as an experienced training partner since it began. The German Recruitment and Training Centre (GRTC) has been jointly developed and is based on the intercompany training model.

The trainees at the LGTC regularly complete their company-based training in businesses of a wide range of different sizes and specialisations. While the basic training provided at the LGTC is already at an excellent level, they lack the resources to be able to offer trainees – of which there are more than 1800 – much of the company-specific content. The GRTC will make up for this shortfall. In future, trainers with extensive practical experience will run courses in the metalworking and electrical sector for small groups; only then will the trainees move from the LGTC into company-based training.

This new option creates a win-win situation as the companies receive staff with better training and the trainees are able to take on more specialist tasks. The GRTC is a local branch of the ÜBZO in Laos and as such will form a central hub for the transfer of dual and intercompany training from Germany to Laos. In cooperation with the Lao organisation, German Lao Association on Development (GLAD), and the LGTC, the aim is to tackle the factors supporting successful vocational education and training in a holistic manner.

The potential of the GRTC in terms of the economy and development policy is also recognised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since February 2021, the ÜBZO has received funding of €49,970 for one year to implement the project. As part of the "Fund for small-scale development assistance projects" from Schmitz Foundations (on behalf of the BMZ), the concept submitted impressed and in February 2021 received the funding approval.

In the next steps, the ÜBZO project managers – together with the LGTC – will procure the equipment for the GRTC, establish the training workshop together with the trainees, and develop training courses in coordination with the local companies. As part of this, the GRTC can tie in seamlessly with the existing BHS Corrugated recruitment and training programme in which initial training programmes have already been trialled. For example, close contacts already exist with various production companies in the metalworking sector, with electrical installation companies, with the textile sector and with the printing sector in the capital of Vientiane. The plan is to implement the training using in-house GRTC trainers and by flexibly integrating company-based skilled workers.

Prof Erich Bauer, ÜBZO director and member of the foundation council of the Angels for Children foundation, which is also active in Laos, explains the overarching potential of the project. "As a blueprint, the GRTC illustrates the relationships between society, education and training, and the economy. Together with the LGTC and GLAD, ÜBZO is seeking to improve vocational education and training in Laos. As an experienced organisation in the education and training sector, we are in a position to constantly learn from one another and to integrate the newly acquired knowledge in our own core concepts."

Source: (news portal), revised by iMOVE, August 2021