First Step Towards Introducing Work-based Learning at Tertiary Level

On 1st December 2017 a Focus Group was held in the Library of the Technical University of Gabrovo. It was organized within the European project Apprenticeship Cluster for Industry-ready Engineers of Tomorrow funded under the Erasmus+ programme KA3. The focus group idea is to bring together the sectors of tertiary education and business supported by local authorities, employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations, so as to identify the specific engineering skills mismatch at regional level in the field of Mechatronics

Lecturers, Phd students and students following a Bachelor degree course in Mechatronics from the TU of Gabrovo, company representatives Mechatronica, Elna, STS Pack Holding, Gabrovo Municipality, Gabrovo Chamber of Commerce and Industry and CL Podkrepa actively took part in the Focus Group. During the discussion they shared viewpoints, came up with suggestions regarding the problems under questions and defined a set of specific skills an engineer of tomorrow in the sector of Mechatronics should have in order to be able to compete successfully on the job market.

The results of the Focus Group will be summarized in the form of a partnership focus group report and provide the basis for a new curriculum and study programmes intended for a bachelor degree course in Mechatronics to be jointly developed by universities and business entities. The elaboration of the new curriculum will mark the first step towards introducing work-based learning and apprenticeships at tertiary level in Bulgaria.