Slobodan Janković, Director, Inmold

They Turn Students Into Great Workers

Požega company INMOLD exports its IML robots and sophisticated high-quality tools for injection moulding of plastics and non-ferrous metals to markets around the world. Now it has begun dual education at the technical school, which has paid off, both for the local community and the company

All our staff are from an area of 25 km in radius, and the average age is under 32 ~ says Mr Janković, noting that all interested high school students who graduated from schools in Požega, Užice, Kosjerić, Lučani and Arilje have the chance to become part of INMOLD.

In a short time, Inmold has grown from a company with 25 staff to one with more than 400. How do you explain that?

Inmold logo

There are several reasons for that, but I certainly have to mention the great experience from previous companies that I and some of my associates brought to Inmold, all my personal capital that I earned by selling part of the company of which I was a co-owner until 2006, a loan obtained from the Development Fund at the very beginning when I opened the company…

The right choice of activities is also important, the huge need for tools and robots for IML technology for the production of thin-walled packaging for the food and chemical industries around the world, the huge number of companies that have started operating in Serbia, Macedonia and BiH and the right moment to introduce dual education into the activities of INMOLD as the best way to provide young and professional staff adapted to the business. Probably my personal commitment and that of my associates to the business, to the work and the quality of work we do has also contributed to success, with the support of the current government for further development and growth of INMOLD, especially at our new site in Priboj, our expansion and providing the conditions for normal work, a stable family and private life, our commitment to employing people living in INMOLD’s vicinity and a whole range of other factors.

Which markets do you cover?

We are engaged in the production of IML robots and sophisticated high-quality tools for injection moulding of plastic and non-ferrous metals, which we export to Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, USA, Pakistan, Japan, China, Canada…

For decades, our educational system has ignored the needs of the market, but that is slowly changing. Isn’t it high time that the education authorities start providing exactly what employers need?

Yes, that’s right … We somehow managed to influence the local community technical school to change its awareness of the needs of the labour market and to get young people out of school with occupations that are needed by business. Seven or eight years ago, the state launched a campaign to educate people needed by industry, and we are now actively working on that, which I am very pleased about.

By the way, the tough school bureaucratic apparatus is hard to change, but it is getting better in Serbia because it is being worked on in many towns. The state has managed to change the legal regulations in education, so now more care is taken about the profiles offered to children.

For a whole decade, you have been training and providing scholarships to students of the technical high school and students of mechanical engineering, which has increased the interest in manufacturing occupations and the mechanical profession. How much has this stopped the outflow of young people from Western Serbia?

All our staff are from a 25-kilometre radius of the company, and the average age is under 32. High school students who graduated from schools in Požega, Užice, Kosjerić, Lučani and Arilje and who are interested in working at INMOLD get the chance to become part of our team. All students from these parts who want to return and start working can get a job at INMOLD even if their education does not meet our needs, because we organize so many retraining courses for them.

The fact that more than 50 of our workers have bought an apartment in the last few years estifies to their firm determination to stay in this area. In addition, every year we have several marriages between INMOLD staff members, and we can also boast that we had about 20 babies last year.

Your experts work with interns according to the plan and programme you designed on the basis of the German and Austrian systems. How is practical training in your company organized and what does it look like?

We try to acquaint children from the first year of high school with their obligations. Their stay at INMOLD consists of learning specific jobs and of free daily activities of their choice – table tennis, basketball, table football, quizzes…

In the grades that follow, the load gradually increases. We always insist on tidiness, discipline, elementary and general education, hygiene and ecology, and there are also specific jobs that include work in real production in real conditions, on machines that are similar to those on which they will work after graduation. In addition to practical work, we also organise theoretical training in mathematics, English and several mechanical subjects, because what they learn at school is not enough to do the work at INMOLD. This approach takes the stress out of starting an employment relationship.

Students are paid for the time spent at INMOLD, so children can earn very decent pocket money and decide for themselves how to use it. Cash compensation is determined according to clear criteria and is very stimulating.

You have more or less included your daughters Dušica and Nevena and your sons Slobodan and Dušan in the business. You must be proud of them because they returned to the family company after studying abroad …

Yes, it is a great joy for me. My children are here. They were educated abroad, learned languages, had internships in foreign companies and came to INMOLD to make it even better and bigger with their youth and enthusiasm. Three of them are already married, I have two grandchildren, my daughters- in-law and sons-in-law are determined to live in Požega, and because of that, I’m the happiest man in the world. All this is a guarantee that INMOLD will operate well and successfully in future.

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