On 20 June last students from the Willem van Oranje College in Wijk en Aalburg were introduced to their possible future job during a visit to Van Beek. This was done during the second edition of the secondary vocational educational Work Experience Day (vmbo Doe Dag), an initiative of Van Beek, Breman Zuid and Van Delft Group.
The aim of this day is to take students from their classrooms to introduce them to the technical world of work. The 38 students went on three tours to visit the participating companies. Director Perry Verberne gave a presentation to describe what Van Beek does and what working for Van Beek involves.
Under supervision the students were then given the chance to weld together a bottle opener. In the last part Arie the transport robot was used. The students were challenged to manoeuvre Arie along a route using an iPad.
The thirteen and fourteen year olds have the option of choosing the technical subject ‘PIE’: Production, Installation and Energy. “The students often practise in a school situation”, says teacher Ronald Numan. “But we are training them for the world of work. This is why we have to give them an early introduction to businesses. This day is therefore an extremely effective way of achieving this.”
Getting to work
“Students like taking part in out-of-school activities”, Ronald explains further. “They come mainly to do something, to get to work with their hands.” At Breman the students made a cactus from PVC pipes. At Van Delft a quiz was waiting for them. “They then absorb information without noticing. This initiative is excellent for this. We can all look back with satisfaction.”
Attraction of sector
It is generally known that the technical sector has difficulty in attracting qualified personnel. Research shows that the main cause of a shortage of personnel in the technical sector is a poor link between regular education and the business world. As many as thirty percent of the 969 respondents expressed this view. Van Beek is trying to improve this link with the secondary vocational educational Work Experience Day.