The Project Excellence Practices of Dual Education in Clothing Industry (ExTend) Nr. 2014-1-BG01-KA201-001515 is financed by the Erasmus+ Program KA2 – Cooperation and Innovation for Good Practices.

Three basic scopes are set to be addressed by the project Excellence Practices of Dual Education in Clothing Industry (ExTend):

  1. The convergence in professional education between old and new EU members especially in Clothing industry.
  2. The enlarging gap between skills and experience that are required by the business and the given knowledge and practical skills by the schools.
  3. The increasing exclusion of pupils because of economic reasons.

The project is aimed to explore these good practices from Germany and Austria that could improve not just the youth inclusion on the labor market but also could help the clothing businesses to find high motivated and well prepared young workers.

Why the project is important?

There are a lot of publications connected to the need and implementation of dual education in professional schools. But all of them have some weaknesses as the next:

o The effects of practical education to the labor force are not enough well known. There are unrevealed problems: How the inclusion of youths in the labor market will help to develop these youths or the businesses? Do businesses prepare for the youth workers – how they could manage/divide operations between young and adult workers? How to measure not just economic but social and demographic results of dual education?, and etc.

o The process of preparation of the society for the dual school education is also as a “black hole”. There have to be prepared not just youths for full-economic inclusion, but also their school teachers and respectively – business mentors. What these three groups have to know before, during and after the dual education in schools? How will control and/or validate their skills and experience? Who and how will set and audit the quality of this education?, and etc.

o The dual professional education is still not recognized by the Bulgarian National Secondary Education Authorities.

In controversy, we have very good practices for dual education in old-EU member states. They are connected as to the professional competencies of the youths as well as to the national frameworks in Secondary education, human resource management and economic growth. Even though these good practices are not applicable to the Bulgarian Education and Labor systems, these practices could be modified to be more helpful for the economic, social and demographic reality in Bulgaria.

In addition, we have the oldest industrial sector in Bulgaria (Clothing industry) with more than 180 years of development. So, the implementation of innovative practices will be too hardily as for the society as well as for the business.

Needs covered by the project:

  1. The need of reducing exclusion on youths by economic reasons – the dual education helps the pupils to graduate their Secondary education at the same time with getting financial support by working.
  2. The need of developing a traditional business with adequate labor decisions – the pupils orients their education and personal development to most economy attractive profession. So, many Bulgarian clothing entities couldn’t find appropriate labor force neither young nor adult.
  3. The need of youth to be active (economic and social) – the economic freedom of youths will help them to participate in different social events. The extra money that pupils had to receive during their dual education could force up their confidence and social inclusion.
  4. The project is pointed to introduce some good European practices to the Bulgarian society and practices in Clothing Industry.

Basic issues addressed by the project:

  • Analysis of the perspectives and challenges of the dual education in clothing industry – how theory and practice could combine in Secondary education in Bulgaria?
  • Systematization of basic elements of dual education in Clothing industry with priority of applicable in Bulgarian case ones – how the measure the effects of dual education?
  • Identification of preliminary knowledge that is differed by the maim focus-group, respectively: pupils, business mentors, school teachers.