The Ukrainian Employers’ Experience of Introducing Dual Studies: The First-Year Results of the National Experiment
The transition to the knowledge-based economy emphasizes the need of bridging the gap between the employers’ needs and expectations with regard to their employees’ knowledge and skills and the existing level of the knowledge and skills of the workforce, including the graduates of tertiary educational establishments (TEEs). One of the instruments that has already proven its efficiency in “building bridges” between the companies and higher educational institutions is dual studies (DS). Companies view such cooperation as the investment in its competitiveness, which, in its turn, is viewed as one of the factors of the national economic development. Thus, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office in Ukraine (FES-Ukraine) launched a project aimed at presenting and adapting the experience of Germany in dual studies organization in 2013. As a result, in 2019, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MES) launched a national experiment on introducing DS in 44 pre-tertiary and tertiary educational establishments. The article aims to present the results of the survey conducted among the Ukraine-based employers that participated in the first year of this experiment. The authors’ questionnaire survey was carried out from June to September 2020. The respondents included 111 companies indicated as partners by the TEEs listed in the ministerial Order #1296 on the launch of the experiment planned for the period of 2019-2023. The answers were obtained from 93 companies, 55 of which presented details of TEE-company cooperation. The data obtained allowed performing both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The findings show that companies are interested in dual studies and are ready to invest in training students as their potential employees. German approaches to the DS organization cannot be simply copied due to the specific features of the national legislation and the state of the national economy. However, they may be successfully adapted and implemented in Ukraine. Therefore, the obtained information has been used for elaborating recommendations to the stakeholders (TEEs, employers and their associations, the MES and other relevant state bodies etc.).
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