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Olivera Gvozdenov, Director, Ernst Klett Präsenzlernen Osteuropa GmbH - Belgrade Branch

Our First 5 Years!

Klett EDU training centre was established in Belgrade in 2018, as a branch of Stuttgart’s Ernst Klett Präsenzlernen. Extensive analysis of the skilled labour market was conducted prior to the founding of the centre, with mechatronics singled out as a field requiring education programmes

The biggest compliments for us are our participants’ success stories and their careers progress. Depending on the programmes completed, they are able solve more complex problems, overtake higher responsibilities, support engineers and manage entire production processes – says director Gvozdenov.

Did the fact that there’s a shortage of skilled labour contribute to the Klett EDU Training Centre being established?

There is a lack of qualified workers not only in our country and region, but also throughout Europe. We help our clients to build teams of professionals who will better understand the field of mechatronics and work in as operators, tool-setters and maintenance technicians.

Klett EDU Training Centre offers an array of programmes to participants of various ages (the youngest participant was 18, while the oldest was 55), with diverse educational and professional experience, who want to improve their skills and knowledge in the field of industrial mechatronics. We collaborate with manufacturing companies, but we are increasingly being contacted by individual participants seeking to obtain an official V-level qualification or to establish contact with potential employers that are our clients.

Is industrial mechatronics still the leading subject in your portfolio? How many participants have so far completed training in the scope of that programme? Mechatronics is the leader in our portfolio, while the programmes vary in terms of complexity and duration. Three programmes are accredited by the relevant institutions in Serbia. Klett EDU is the initiator of the standard of the V level qualification for Industrial Mechatronic Specialist programme and we will soon enrol the fourth generation of trainees in this programme. Participants are trained to work on system maintenance, author technical documentation, preventatively maintain industrial mechatronic equipment, assemble and disassemble machine elements, connect and check pneumatic systems, electrical circuits and components, modify electrical control systems and put into operation new industrial mechatronic equipment.

Lecturers focus on the development of each student individually. We can boast of the fact that more than 400 participants have completed our training programmes successfully to date, despite the two years of Covid and the global economic crisis.

Your training essentially boils down to the applicability of knowledge and skills. Does this mean that your mechatronics technicians, but also other trainees, are ready to start working in companies immediately upon the completion of training?

The biggest compliments are the success stories of our participants and their further careers advancement. Depending on the programmes completed, they are able solve more complex problems, overtake higher responsibilities, support engineers and manage entire production processes.

To us, Klett EDU trainees’ development path is very important, which is why we stay in contact with them but also with their directors and managers from production and human resources sectors. From the perspective of the companies, all these success stories represent confirmation of the employer’s values and strong brand, which employees appreciate greatly and happily share with others as an exceptional experience and personal benefit.

Your approach implies working on cutting edge equipment at Klett EDU Training Centre, with the help of top lecturers. Who are the lecturers and how did you form the team?

We are committed to innovation and strive to ensure the work on didactic equipment is as close as possible to contemporary factory facilities, including machine assemblies, electric motors, relays, frequency regulators and sensors. The key to the success of Klett EDU programmes is the team that implements them. It is our pleasure to be able to boast of having a large number of lecturers. There are currently 32 professionals working in the mechatronics team, and they come from the faculties of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, as well as the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, while we also have lecturers from manufacturing companies. These are engineers who – through contact with our team and the education of their colleagues – wanted to become part of the team of lecturers. That’s a great compliment for us!

Learning through practical work experience is vital to the development of a skill, because it simulates actual situations from a working environment

Our lecturers play a key role in preparing trainees for a career in dynamic industrial mechatronics. Learning through practical work experience, which is what we apply exclusively, is vital to the development of a skill, because it simulates actual situations from a working environment. On the top of it all comes the mentorship, because our entire Klett EDU team provides advices and support to participants, helping them to manage challenges and identify solutions to complex problems.

For which companies do you train existing and future employees? Does it happen that some trainees return after completing one programme to enrol in the next?

Our clients believe that investing in employee knowledge is an investment that increases productivity. We are very happy that companies choosing to educate their employees through Klett EDU programmes include: Toyo Tires, Coca Cola, PepsiCo Marbo, Grundfos, Gruner, Brose, Imlek, Atlantic Grupa, PharmaNova, ZF, Neoplanta, Elrad, Nectar and Tarkett, among others. All these companies see immediate results and we receive positive feedback, loyalty and referrals from all of them. It has become a rule that, after the first group of participants, our clients continue cooperating with us and enrol the next group of employees. Likewise, after completing the basic level, companies opt to send the most successful participants to a higher level of the programme.

Individuals are the group of self-financed participants who receive good business offers in the manufacturing industry after being certified with V-level qualification.

We are delighted to be able to confirm that interest in Klett EDU programmes among individual participants is also increasing significantly.

What are your plans moving forward?

We have lots of plans for the future, like expanding the offer of programmes in response to client demand, expanding operations for and on other markets, cooperating with partners with the idea of training as many potential employees as possible for operational level positions in Serbia and for interested companies from other markets.

The vision that we established as the first training centre start-up in our company, is to create value in Serbia through education of both existing and new employees in the field of mechatronics.

Our enthusiasm wouldn’t be at such a high level, without the support of our directors from the parent company in Stuttgart. Our first five years represent an exciting journey on which we’ve been confronted by many challenges, and I can proudly say that we’ve exceeded our own expectations. Klett EDU team has achieved excellent results and we look forward to the new important things to come.

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