THREE THAI vocational graduates are carving out careers at international firm Bosch Thailand after participating in an innovative dual-education programme.
If they acquire a really good command of English, they will even have a chance to work for Bosch in Germany, where it is headquartered.
“Bosch is a good company and it has given me the opportunity to gain experience and confidence. I will continue to work here and hope that one day I will be able to work at one of Bosch’s operations outside of Thailand,” Prachya Kanato said.
He is one of the first three graduates from the German-Thai Dual Excellence Education programme at Bosch.
The GTdee programme provides high-potential Thai technical students the chance to attain both practical and theoretical knowledge and skills at the same level as students in Germany. After joining the programme, Prachya and his two friends worked weekdays at Bosch Thailand’s packaging technology operation in Chon Buri, while on weekends they attended classes at Eastern Technological College.
All of the participating students at Bosch were treated as regular employees and received the same salary and benefits as anyone else in a similar job category.
The GTdee programme was initiated by the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce and the German International Cooperation to help address Thailand’s shortage of skilled workers.
“We are very proud to be a part of the GTdee programme, which |is producing highly skilled and |dedicated workers who can help Thailand’s economy generate |higher-valued added goods and services,” said Joseph Hong, Bosch Thailand managing director.
All three graduates of the programme said it was very interesting and useful.
Prachya pointed out that thanks to the programme he had opportunities to do cross-functional jobs at Bosch Packaging while he was still a college student.
“We worked with machine maintenance, quality control, and device testing, among other things. This has given us a wide range of experiences, enabling us to plan our careers better,” he explained.
His classmate, Nattapol Wuttiruk, also praised the job-rotation part.
“Now, I know how the different jobs relate to each other,” he said. “And I get a clearer picture of the operation as a whole.”
Ready for weekend classes
Prachya said working in an English-language environment was the hardest thing about the programme.
“I never had to use English every day before. There are times when it is a little hard to follow some technical topics,” he admitted.
He also said it was quite difficult to manage his time between working during the day and studying at night to get ready for weekend classes.
“The schedule was tight. I was very busy,” he said.
Nattapol said after some time passed, he had learnt that his schedule was manageable as he developed skills to mange time more efficiently.
“I’ve become well organised and good at time management now. It’s the skills that will be useful to me all my life,” he said happily.
Kritsada Dokmaiwa, another graduate from the GTdee programme, said he found it hard to make decisions on the job while being a trainee.
“But now I am more used to it and understand what types of things I can handle myself and what I need to raise up with a manager,” he said.
All these graduates have continued to work for Bosch Packaging Technology after they completed the programme.
“I am happy with the work I’ve been doing at Bosch Packaging Technology and understand the company’s culture. I plan to continue my career at Bosch,” Nattapol said.
Bosch Thailand is among the many companies that have joined forces with vocational colleges and schools in arranging dual-education programmes.
Such collaborations, according to experts, creates a win-win situation. Students get hands-on experiences, acquiring necessary kills for employment and getting access to updated technology and equipment, while companies have a better chance of getting skilled labour that match their requirements.