Companies have addressed the challenges of the crisis in different ways
We discussed how the business of professional education is managing new times with Ferdinand Ayen, CEO of Ernst Klett Präsenzlernen Osteuropa GmbH – a provider of Klett EDU in Serbia.
Ferdinand Ayen Klett
How did your company traverse the Coronavirus crisis?
– When the crisis hit us in mid-March, we obviously halted all planned courses and all office-based activities. Within 24 hours, we established new web-based workflows that have proven very effective. And we said to ourselves, as well as to our partners and customers: “One day this crisis will be over. Let’s prepare for this day now; let’s invest our time in the development of our product portfolio”.
So you never stopped working?
– That’s right. And as a result, apart from our basic Mechatronic programmes, we are happy to announce that we now offer web-based German language courses, a totally unique four-month Hospitality programme, while we have finalised a special one-year Mechatronic programme and also developed a highly demanded Welding programme. On top of that, we conducted a few team online training courses and have completely redesigned our website. In our case, the lockdown unlocked new advantages.
Are these new programmes also dual?
– This is a good point. We use the dual approach wherever suitable. However, some of our new programmes, e.g. German language courses, are not dual per se, while others – like Hospitality – have “cooperative” rather than “dual” education models.
That is why we are changing our name from Klett DUAL to Klett EDU. Nevertheless, we are keeping the good and well-proven dual elements, above all the instructive concept of Learning Situations.
In addition to that, we have also quickly adapted and switched from in-class to online classes and platforms, and are using them right now for our German language courses. The Klett Group has been investing in its digital approach for a long time, so we also had a fantastic opportunity to use the Klett Augmented application.
Programmes are developed, but how do you plan to relaunch activities?
– We are still focused on two customer groups – companies and individual learners. As of mid-September, we will start the one-year mechatronics programme with groups for both companies and individual learners. Some of our partner companies have already re-confirmed groups with their employees, but we also have individual learners signing up. Then, as of October, we are starting with our Hospitality programme, which is absolutely unique on our market. German language courses are currently ongoing through online platforms and we will keep this option for the future as well.
How do you perceive the market situation in the face of the crisis?
– If you talk to people in Germany who are involved in the industry and its underlying production and supply processes, you often hear that the Coronavirus crisis has shown that only countries and companies that know how to produce by themselves will endure. I agree with this assessment.
The crisis has shown many strengths and weaknesses and has thus also shown that the worldwide supply chain is critically stretched. Companies that are overly reliant on suppliers from the other side of the world will become even more dependent.
In my opinion, the solution for Serbia is to strengthen its old industrial tradition and re-establish itself in the field of goods production. This way of thinking is also supported by our partner companies that have production facilities in Serbia.
In any economy, everything boils down to pooling people, knowledge, practices and the most optimal timing. We, at Klett EDU, have the knowhow and are ready and willing to help.