Swiss-Romanian cooperation to launch job orientation training

Swiss-Romanian cooperation to launch job orientation training

Brasov, September 2011. The University of Teacher Education in Zurich, Switzerland, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the National Centre for Vocational Education in Bucharest are running a pilot project for the introduction of a new subject about job orientation in Romanian schools (JOBS). The test phase will last one year and will be run by teachers from the school nr. 25 in Brasov, the technical gymnasium of Transylvania, and from Switzerland.
The project JOBS (job orientation training for businesses and schools) is aimed at helping students in the last year of compulsory education and at technical gymnasia to get a realistic insight into the world of work and different kinds of jobs. At the same time, they learn to recognize their own strengths and competences. The programme offers them the opportunity to gain an overview of possible jobs and studies. By visiting businesses, administrations and public institutions they see what skilled workers and graduates do. It is up to the students to collect information about job offers nearby and the requirements for different kinds of occupation. JOBS is also a good practice for students to learn how to present themselves successfully to potential employers.
The teachers involved do not only teach the subject but also actively support and advise the students in performing the tasks defined by JOBS. To be able to do so they go through an e-learning programme. In the future, it might also be possible to attend a master course "Student mentoring". JOBS also includes a research project conducted by the Zurich University of Teacher Education and the University of Bucharest: The first group of students who will complete the JOBS programme will be the object of a tracer study lasting 5 years. The results will be of great interest for the implementation of similar educational schemes in the region.
In Switzerland, this kind of job orientation courses have been taught for almost 30 years in schools and since 2007 so-called "career choice school years" are offered with great success. According to statistics, over 80% of the students who went through a "career choice school year" start an apprenticeship or go on to study at higher education level.
JOBS is financed by the Lottery Fund of the Canton of Zurich and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, Division New EU Member States, as part of the Swiss enlargement contribution to the new EU members. The innovative aspect of the JOBS project is due to the close cooperation between the two partners and to the fact that materials were and are constantly tested at schools. For the time being, the project will last for five years and aims at integrating the subject JOBS into the Romanian curriculum.