Study visit to Bursa (Turkey): Transfer of Knowledge and the Establishment of Vocational Training Centre in Northern Bosnia

May 30, 2017

From 22 to 24 May, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and UNDP IICPSD in cooperation with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), organized a study visit to Turkey for 12 representatives of private sector and local government of the Gradačac Municipality, led by the mayor Mr. Edis Dervišagić. Visitors from BiH were hosted by the representatives of Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Education Foundation (BUTGEM), the most important vocational center in Turkey. The aim of this study visit was to present the BUTGEM’s experience to the BiH partners who would then use its model to establish a similar center in Gradačac, in which training would be provided to the workforce in practical skills that are deficient in the market and highly demanded by the private sector.

The study visit represents the continuation of the cooperation between UNDP and BUTGEM, a center which for more than twenty years organize trainings of the workforce to suit the demand of the private sector, particularly in the areas of auto-metal and textile industry. The center emerged from a need to compensate for the shortage of practical working and technical experience that is not provided through formal education. BUTGEM is currently the biggest center of this kind in Turkey with approximately 2.500 students enrolled annually, and the post-training employment rate of 80%. The visitors from Gradačac also had an opportunity to visit technical school for pre-school children, where essentials of technical knowledge are taught in the earliest age, something that should be incorporated into educational system in BiH.  

The study visit was arranged as part of a project implemented by UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with UNDP IICPSD and financially supported by TIKA. The next steps in the project implementation include provision of training at BUTGEM for 12 workers and five instructors in the period from September to November of 2017. The training will be provided in specific programs of work of computer numerical control (CNC) machines, upon which new skills and knowledge will be transferred and used in BiH.  This will be the first concrete step in marking the operations of the new vocational center in Gradačac, designed, just as it is the case with BUTGEM model, to meet the demands of the local market. Gradually, the center in Gradačac is expected to expand its activities and offer its services to the wider area of North Bosnia and, eventually, BiH as whole.   

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