Distance education is not a recipe for everything. “We will not teach you how to source over the Internet”

Lifelong learning is something we can’t escape. Education seeks to be closer to business to meet the needs of companies. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed – all to adapt the staff to the changing world.

The pandemic has shown that lifelong learning and skill development – not just the difficult ones – are very important. Education does not end at university or high school – it continues in companies.

“Education is based on the fact that for public money we teach children not only a specific profession, but also general skills that will allow them to live in society,” said Daniel Nowak, an expert in human resources development in enterprises. Polish Enterprise Development Agency.

– We can teach them professionally, but after 5 years it may become clear that this knowledge is no longer valid. Then these people join the companies and the enlightening role falls on the company and the employees, they should be responsible for what they know and want to do. The company is a place where people continue to learn. Our research shows that many trainings for adults are held in enterprises – emphasizes Daniel Nowak.

Daria Gostkowska, executive director of human resources management at BNP Paribas Bank, agrees. According to him, lifelong learning is something we cannot escape.

– It’s not like we learn something at school and nothing happens after that. Of course, difficult skills are important, but not in isolation. For me, it is important for a candidate to be open-minded, to think and adapt to the rapidly changing reality, as well as to cooperate with others – says Daria Gostkowska.

Daria Gostkowska, Executive Director, Human Resources Management, BNP Paribas Bank (Photo: PTWP)

– Cooperation is the key word in business. It is important to move in interdisciplinary teams, to build relationships, to find certain things and to connect them with each other. The specialty is very important, but creativity is also important. We teach this as an employer. However, the most important thing is that everyone has an open mind and wants to feel. The pandemic helped, Gostkowska adds.

No professionals? Educate them yourself

Many employers complain about staff shortages and incompetence. Monica Kościelna, HR director at Alstoma in Central and Eastern Europe, says there is a shortage of production workers in the labor market.

– Alstom has two main factories in Poland with more than 2,000 employees. There is a shortage of people in these professions – can you say simple? I would ask a question here, because today a welder is not a simple, but a very complex job. These powers do not exist today, says Monica Kościelna.

Monica Kościelna, HR Director of Alstoma in Central and Eastern Europe (Photo: PTWP)

Monica Kościelna, HR Director of Alstoma in Central and Eastern Europe (Photo: PTWP)

According to him, the main focus should be on the education of manual workers – from welders to locksmiths. Unfortunately, there is currently no school that educates them.

Alstom took a step forward. We have opened an indoor kindergarten in the territory of our company, which teaches the profession from scratch. Looking for people who want. We started last year with high schools, campaigned at school, and encouraged young people over the age of 18 to come to our company. We provide them with development and courses. Today I can say that I have succeeded, – says Monica Kościelna.

– It showed that the market is really difficult, but it is possible, but we must want it. We are investing, but in the end we have very different teams – this is the future today – he adds.

Discipleship problems

Tomasz Haiduk, president of the Polish Forum for Automation and Robotics and head of the Industry 4.0 Institute, said in a similar vein, noting that the companies he works for have set up training laboratories.

– These are not only physical laboratories, but also partially virtual. An example is a workshop for virtual training welders using VR glasses. This is a real welder’s mask and welding weapon. That way, you can start educating people – they don’t buy a welding machine right away, but they have a tool to speed up the learning process, says Tomasz Haiduk.

Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet, Vice Rector for Research and Academic Affairs at the University of Economics in Wroclaw, also talks about virtual reality.

– We have a VR simulation center at the university. Young people can work at the box office in Liddle by wearing glasses. This is a way to develop – emphasizes Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet.

Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet, Vice Rector for Research and Academic Affairs, Vrocław University of Economics (Photo: PTWP)

Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet, Vice Rector for Research and Academic Affairs, Vrocław University of Economics (Photo: PTWP)

Tomasz Hayduk also points to another issue – the level of vocational education in Poland. As he claims, there is very little funding that stops development.

– Teaching a technician takes time and equipment – it takes about 2-3 years to learn the difficult skills needed – says Hayduk. – Education has stopped at a certain level. However, information from the Ministry of Education shows that under the new program, additional competence centers should be established to educate and train not only young people, but also young people. There should also be technical courses for adults. The industry needs these people, he adds.

Thomas Haiduk, President of the Polish Forum of Automation and Robotics, Head of the Institute of Industry 4.0 (Photo: PTWP)

Thomas Haiduk, President of the Polish Forum of Automation and Robotics, Head of the Institute of Industry 4.0 (Photo: PTWP)

Thomas Haiduk also stressed that the pandemic has hit the field – especially at the level of vocational schools and universities. Unlike teaching mathematics or philosophy, it is not possible to study technical issues without access to a laboratory.

– You cannot learn welding online. There are areas where working and learning are not possible. An example is a pilot or a train driver. The lathe should roll, not look to turn over the Internet – estimates Tomasz Haiduk.

Krzysztof Inglot, the founder of the Personnel Service, also believes that there will still be a great demand for artists in the labor market. Their robots will not replace them so soon.

Krzysztof Inglot, Founder of the Personnel Service (Photo: PTWP)

Krzysztof Inglot, Founder of the Personnel Service (Photo: PTWP)

– Unfortunately, the work of a student under the supervision of a master is not promoted in Poland. There are one or two apprentices under Norwegian shipyards who are no longer physically healthy and cannot weld ships at freezing temperatures. In addition to the knowledge they can learn from vocational school, they learn from someone who has decades of experience and knows everything about welding. He has knowledge that is difficult to read from books or from a teacher who has never stood in the cold. This knowledge is given by masters – explains Krzysztof Inglot.

Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet also points out that masters will not be replaced by robots soon.

– 20 years ago, I told my students how central decisions hurt the educational process. Then I gave the example of a brewer. Local breweries still rely largely on family authority. The robot cannot replace a brewer who produces a unique beer thanks to his knowledge of recipes and traditions. This trend is back – we have breweries. But they do not do it, only people – explains Ewa Stańczyk-Hugiet.

Cooperation between universities and business

Damian Gąsiorek, Deputy Dean for Cooperation and Development at the Faculty of Mechanics and Technology, University of Silesia, draws attention to another aspect – without business, there really is no university. These are companies that set trends and show what authority they need.

Damian Gąsiorek, Deputy Dean for Cooperation and Development, Faculty of Mechanics and Technology, University of Silesia (Photo: PTWP)

Damian Gąsiorek, Deputy Dean for Cooperation and Development, Faculty of Mechanics and Technology, University of Silesia (Photo: PTWP)

– Silesian University of Technology has sponsoring companies in every field of study. Large global companies such as Opel and Fiat cooperate with us. The number of these companies is large. They are funded by different educational institutions. They tell us about their needs, for example, they need designers who can make good use of the CAD system, says Damian Gąsiorek.

This confirms that universities are seeing changes in the labor market – certain professions are dying and others are emerging in their place.

– For example, you can show a printer – this profession is disappearing. But another came out – a 3D printer. Although the name sounds similar, it requires completely different powers – explains Gasiorek.

Silesian University of Technology also offers dual education, during which the student spends half of the year at the university, and the next semester is spent on practical training in industry.

– Many companies come to us. At present, their number exceeds the number of students who want to. They are “lifted” from the beginning – adds Gsiorek.

Discussions were chaired by PulsHR.pl journalist Karolina Markowska (Photo: PTWP)

Discussions were chaired by PulsHR.pl journalist Karolina Markowska (Photo: PTWP)

See the full report of the “Human Resources in a Changing World” session.

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