Renewable energy for Poland
Akademia Przedsiebiorczosci (ap) GmbH • Modern educational laboratory for a dynamic industry sector
The bfz gGmbH (Berufliche Fortbildungszentren der Bayerischen Wirtschaft - Vocational Continuing Education Centres of the Bavarian Economy) is the largest provider for vocational training measures in Bavaria with some 3,000 employees and about 180 training centres. The bfz gGmbH has been also internationally active in the field of education since the mid-1990s. Subsidiary companies have been established in East-Central Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic), Austria and China, in addition to projects in South America, Asia and Africa.
Contacts to various Polish educational institutions have been maintained since 1999. In May 2004, the bfz established the joint venture Akademia Przedsiebiorczosci (Academy of Entrepreneurship) (ap) GmbH together with the economic chamber Regionalna Izba Gospodarcza (RIG) in Starachowice.
ap's areas of activity include continuing education and training services for adults for the purpose of gaining professional qualification and improvement of general professional competences, occupational and psychological advisory services, business consultancy, employment services as well as research and development services. Projects have been implemented for public institutions at a national, regional and local level as well as for businesses in the region. Each year, some 1,700 people attend the training courses of ap.
In June 2014, ap officially opened a modern educational laboratory for solar, wind, thermal and hydro power and energy efficiency at the technical centre in Starachowice. Renewable energy is a dynamically developing industry sector in Poland. Both the Polish government and independent industry associations forecast that thousands of new jobs will develop in this sector in the coming years.
The opening of the educational laboratory, which is supported by the Polish regional politicians, is the result of the transnational project "PWP-EKO-Techniker – Bildung mit Energie" (PWP-EKO Technicians – Education with Energy). The aim of this project with a total budget of 885,000 zloty is the development of vocational education and training services in the field of renewable energy. In this field, ap collaborates with the technical centre in Starachowice and the German project partner Entwicklungsgesellschaft Energiepark Lausitz (EEPL - Development Company Energy Park Lusatia) in Brandenburg.
In the context of this project, Polish teachers and students receive qualifications in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency by attending educational trips and workshops. In addition, renewable energy issues are being integrated into the existing curricula of the vocational education and training programmes for building and construction industry technicians, technicians for electrical installations, mechatronics technicians and environmental protection technicians. The modernised curriculum for "Technicians for renewable energy installations and systems" was introduced as a modular programme in addition to the technical centre's existing educational service provision. Moreover, 15 students from the technical centre will soon complete a renewable energy internship in German businesses. A basic course in German was specifically created for them.
The idea for the "PWP-EKO-Techniker – Bildung mit Energie" project originated when ap compiled an expert report on the current development status of vocational training and continuing education in the renewable energy sector; the report was in the context of the project "Quali.EE – Qualitätsentwicklung in der Aus- und Weiterbildung für den Bereich EE" (Quality development in vocational training and continuing education in the renewable energy sector). For the report, ap described the Polish vocational education and training system and the renewable energy programmes on offer at vocational education and training institutions and universities. ap moreover conducted a survey in written form at vocational colleges as well as held talks with businesses at a trade fair to identify the potential for co-operation projects between vocational education providers in Brandenburg and Polish institutions. The "Quali.EE" project is carried out by the f-bb Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training on behalf of the Federal State of Brandenburg Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family and is funded from out of the European Social Fund.
Another project, "EDUCATED – Industrial worker 2.0", focuses on developing a modular vocational education and training programme in a European context for the metal processing industry. ap was given the task of illustrating how Polish businesses react to a modular vocational training provision below the actual skilled trade worker vocational education and training programme and what such a training provision must contain to be accepted by the businesses. In addition to ap, the project includes partners from Germany, Austria and Sweden.