Two years ago, OMV Petrom looked for a solution to address a three-fold issue: on one hand, the company had an ageing workforce, with lack of skilled craftsmen affecting long term performance. On the other hand, with operations in 300+ communities, the company needed to create job alternatives to prevent mono-industrialism. Above all, as an underlying cause, the country’s vocational education system saw a total disconnect from market needs, as a result of state power hesitant strategies (technical schools have been closed down and then re-introduced multiple times, in various forms, by various education ministries), lack of equipment, poor teaching methods, lack of respect for the idea of craftsmen.
This is how Vocational Romania (Romania Meseriasa) came to life – the company set on the mission to develop an engagement program to support Romania’s future generations’ of craftsmen through respect, training at modern standards and real life mentors. All for the most sought – after trades -both starting from the company’s profile and from the communities where OMV Petrom has operations.
In the first phase (2015 – 2016) we focused on two main areas: (1) researching for problems through a national study among parents, employers, craftsmen, students and general audience and (2) creating scalable solutions – We did this through the Vocational Summer Camp (an Intensive Development Program that combines personal development, practical training and mentorship) and the applied transformation program – Oilmen’s School (development of 2 classed for the oil & gas field where everything meets today’s standards – from equipment to teaching methods and evaluation processes).
Where to develop the program further? Our new challenge – look for systemic solutions and gather more stakeholders around this national cause – saving Romania’s future craftsmen.
The 2016-2017 development of Vocational Romania brought efforts of policy analysis, changes in legal framework, engaging other employers and, last but not least, gathering public support for future tradesmen.