Požega-based company Inmold, which deals with the manufacturing of IML robots and sophisticated tools, stops the outflow of young people from Western Serbia. The company has, for almost a decade, been providing scholarships to high school pupils and mechanical engineering students, which has increased interest in manufacturing work and the mechanical engineering profession among young people
The education system should make a departure from offices and electronic communications and try to understand the practises and needs of private employers on the ground. Only in this way can healthy, spontaneous cooperation be established between two diametrically opposed systems, notes Goran Janković.
Inmold emerged as a family-owned company that quickly became one of the backbones of the economic development of Western Serbia. Are you satisfied with the speed of your development and progress?
– In a very short space of time, we grew from a mini-company with 25 employees into a medium-sized company that today has more than 300 employees. That’s similar to when a pubescent child suddenly sprouts and outgrows its peers, which may initially seem powerful and amazing, but a longer time is needed for that same child to mature and assume its rightful place.
That’s how we also plan to stabilise at this level for a certain period of time, and then continue conquering new markets and new products, as well as significantly increasing employee numbers.
You deal with the production of highquality injection moulding tools for plastics and non-ferrous metal. Do young people avoid manufacturing occupations? Are there enough engineers, managers and lawyers in Western Serbia?
– I think that the trend of avoiding manufacturing occupations is waning; that young people with a healthy manufacturing example in their environment are increasingly and more easily opting for professions in the mechanical engineering sector. This was not the case 10 years ago. Then it was shameful to be a worker, as everyone wanted to work in management, while today there are young manufacturing engineers who are seeking a chance to show what they can do where they live and were born.
Scholarships that high school pupils receive during their schooling represent excellent motivation for every young and diligent person
You have been implementing a programme for training pupils of Secondary Technical Schools for almost 10 years. What professions are they studying for? How do you motivate them to take up employment with you? Do you have scholarship recipients?
– We first got involved in this process of educating children for mechanical engineering professions nine years ago. These are future computer control technicians, locksmiths and mechatronics technicians, and today there are fewer children in nonmechanical engineering majors, such as a computer engineering.
We endeavour to provide secure a pleasant environment for children to stay in our company. With us, they have mentors who take care of them, teaching them to be safe, meticulous and professional in their jobs. We also organise educational visits to other companies in the area for them, recreational trips abroad, visits to fairs and many other contents in the area of recreation, such as swimming, paintball etc..
During their schooling, they receive a scholarship from us that is very good motivation for a young and diligent person. In an environment where incomes are low, that can also be a significant help and contribution to the home budget, so the children feel like very helpful and valuable family members. In this way they learn to be household leaders, family people that set an example in their environment.
How do you see dual education? How can it be improved and made even more attractive for young people?
– It is a shame that the dual education we had 50 years ago didn’t resist the whirlwind of time and the painful events imposed on us. What we had, and what was destroyed, is again imposing itself as a necessity, because without the youth it is impossible to conquer markets today or in the future. It is not necessary to calculate much, but rather to strive in every way to keep the youth here, and not have them leave the country.
Youngsters need to be understood and in no way compelled to live the life of our youth. We older folks need to enter their lives, to listen to what pleases young people, to listen to their opinions and share emotions with them honestly. We wonder how possible that is in the accelerated way of living and doing business, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Children should be loved, understood and taught true values of life, listened to and shared with.
Can entrepreneurs, as future employers, influence school curricula, profiles and directions? They best know what kind of staff they need.
– The voice of entrepreneurs and employers needs and must be ranked first by an educator when he outlines his needs. That other side of education needs to be addressed as quickly and creatively as possible, so that businessmen are satisfied. Unfortunately, the great sluggishness of the education system is being drawn legislatively into the entrepreneurial system, with forms, papers and requirements to do as they have have devised it in an office setting.
The dual education that we had 50 years ago didn’t resist the whirlwind of time, but now it is again imposing itself as a necessity
That seems unsustainable to me, which is why it has to be done differently. That which is theoretical should and can be done by teachers in classrooms, while everything else, everything practical, should be done with entrepreneurs.
Thus, a private employer should define his needs, and the education system should secure that for him. And it should not be that an entrepreneur acts in the function of education according to their curriculum of education from bygone times. The education system should make a departure from offices and electronic communications and try to understand the practises and needs of private employers on the ground. Only in this way can healthy, spontaneous cooperation be established between two diametrically opposed systems.
Do competent staff at the Ministry of Education show an interest in the opinions and needs of potential employers? Do you, as a businessmen, listen to the needs and desires of pupils, as your future employees?
– Those responsible are mainly interested in our opinion via emails, the passive gathering of statistics, meetings that serve only to satisfy form, and it would be good for this to change in the way I stated above. We go out of our way to meet the needs of our scholarship recipients and our staff if they express a desire and need to further their studies and acquire higher education qualifications. We link up with colleges and agree on the best way for a young, employed person to most effectively educate themselves further in the current system.
Another way is to organise seminars within the framework of the company and in this way we award internal and practical qualifications that are essential for the better performing of demanding jobs within our company. We internally teach them the necessary knowledge and skills that are required on a daily basis at work. We strive to work and learn the essentials, setting form aside.