Modern vocational training centre opens at TEZ

“Trakia Economic Zone (TEZ) is among Bulgaria’s economic hubs; it is unique, and that is not an exaggeration,” Vice-PM Tomislav Donchev said during the unveiling of the new Vocational Training Centre in the Rakovski Industrial Zone, part of the TEZ. Donchev elaborated on why he thinks the TEZ is a unique project: “First of all, it is the sheer scale: almost 11m sq meters (about 118.403m sq ft) and over €2bn in investments since its inception 23 years ago. Some 180 companies are represented here, established names at that – electronics, manufacturing of car and aircraft components, etc.”

The vice-PM also added that several public agencies are working on an industrial zone bill, which is intended to lessen the red-tape burden for entrepreneurs.

Over 600 workers and students will undergo vocational training and retraining at the Trakia Vocational Training Centre. The educational courses will vary from intensive and one-week to ones that would require a break from production. The project is being realised in association with the DEMO Association and the companies SMC, Schneider Electric, ABB and Milara International.

This is the first time that multinational companies in Bulgaria are teaming up to tackle the scarcity of well-qualified personnel for the industry, noted Rosen Kosturkov from Japan’s SMC. A global leader in pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical actuators and industrial automation, the company has extensive experience in training industrial workers. The new centre is unique for Bulgaria – it has at its disposal the newest training technologies, effectively allowing classes to be conducted with the help of equipment that is currently being used by the industry, Kosturkov added.

Bulgaria’s first ever vocational centre serving businesses in the industrial zone is an open project, meaning that companies can implement their own programmes. An example of this is Milara International’s laboratory, which is situated in the centre and where employees of the company are already being retrained.

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