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Technical Training Focus of Poland Gathering

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More than 180 people turned out for the first Warsaw Congress, a gathering focusing on secondary technical education.

Elevator industry takes a role in first Warsaw Congress.

European trends and technical training were the focuses of the I Warszawski Kongress 2017 (First Warsaw Congress 2017), a gathering of more than 180 people interested in education in Warsaw on November 24, 2017.

The event was a new educational congress initiated by the Warsaw establishment interested in issues regarding training and lifelong learning. The venue was the Centrum Kreatywnosci Targowa, a new technical support facility for science and technology built in the shell of a famous old market building.

The meeting was opened by Joanna Gospodarczyk, director of the Warsaw Department of Education. Wiodzimierz Paszynski, deputy president for the City of Warsaw, also gave a welcome to the gathered educators and business executives.

Educational professionals and business leaders shared their experiences regarding partnerships and work initiatives that soon will be mandatory. Indeed, one of the chief objectives of the event was to introduce the main training initiatives, show how they have been developed and detail what they will achieve for students. The near- and long-term educational curricula have been considered, and the implementation and assessment of results are to be undertaken over the next several years.

After the presentations, 14 industry and business leaders signed official documents with their partnered educational bodies to enter long-term agreements to ensure that education provides relevant training. During this mass-signing event, Tadeusz Popielas of the Polish Association of Lift Manufacturers (PALM) signed an agreement with Halina Szczur of the Technical Secondary School of Electronics of Warsaw. Popielas said the agreement would facilitate the close cooperation of vertical-transportation (VT) companies in the education of young people entering the industry. PALM is funding a scholarship for the best students. As part of the companies’ patronage, they proposed:

  • Admission of the three best students per year to paid summer internships to the maintenance department
  • Leading a free 40-hr. workshop for teachers of the profession once a year
  • Organization of free schooling for students during the school year
  • Providing industry textbooks for students
  • Participation by experts from leading companies, once a quarter, in lectures and workshops for students
  • Providing selected didactic aids relating to branded company equipment
  • Each preparing a hall for students, and equipping it with teaching aids and other relevant material
  • Collaboration in special events, such as job fairs and open days at the school

Several presentations were made, including one in which your author gave an international perspective of training personnel for the VT industry, during the first of three sessions. This overview also looked at what is happening in the U.K. industry, and put this training into context by showing what industry needs and how it is influenced by the total working, political, economic and social environment.

The presentation showed the career path of someone joining the VT industry today and shared some of the views of lift professionals who are active in the U.K. industry to give a real understanding of what is wanted in the front line of the industry. Your author introduced some of the key individuals and organizations that are actively developing VT education in the U.K., including Nick Mellor of the Lift and Escalator Industry Association, and Dr. Stefan Kaczmarczyk of the University of Northampton and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Lifts Group. Key sources of this educational material were noted, including the vast Elevator World, Inc., resources of articles and books, as well as the editorial material available from the trade press as a whole. In closing, this presentation included slides featuring the team of people involved with the modernization of the world-famous Liver Building in Liverpool, showing just how many people are involved in a lift-system modernization scheme. The audience was told that the modernization team’s main objective is “Moving People Safely and Efficiently through Architectural Space.”

A selection of other presentations was given by representatives from education and business, offering an overview of different types of partnerships and structures that might enthuse and encourage young people into the different career sectors available.

It was intriguing to see many student trainees at the Congress, and they provided the catering, media coverage and event organization. The quality of the catering was exceptional, sure to be appreciated at many fine-dining establishments around the world.

Attendees witnessed the start of an important gathering. At future events, delegates will be keen to learn what has worked and if the initiatives are providing the workforce with the skills they need, as well as the incentive to follow interesting and fulfilling careers. It was encouraging that many delegates were keen to express ideas and views during the coffee and lunch breaks. Your author was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm expressed by the delegates for the use of experienced workers alongside younger apprentices in the lifelong learning educational process. This mutual support and encouragement between young and old was seen as very important in producing a successful educational program.

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