Apprenticeship Cluster for Industry-ready Engineers of Tomorrow

Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Apprenticeship Cluster for Industry-ready Engineers of Tomorrow

Project: 585151-EPP-1-2017-1-BG-EPPKA3-VET-APPREN

Agreement number: 2017-2011/001-001
Start Date: 01.10.2017
End Date: 30.09.2019
EU Grant: 274021.00 EUR
(EU Grant for TU-Gabrovo: 53 104.00 EUR)

Contact Person: Irena Rashkova


The project partnership consists of six full partners and 2 associated partners from Bulgaria, Austria and Poland. The organizations involved in the project have different profiles: VET providers, private enterprises, local authority, professional organizations.

Coordinator of the project: Technical university of Gabrovo, BG

Full partners: FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH, AT; Gdansk University of Technology, PL;Mechatronica SC, BG; PPHU TERMEX Sp. z o.o., PL; Gabrovo Municipality, BG.

Associated partners: Gabrovo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BG; LC PODKREPA, BG

The project team of the TU of Gabrovo involves as follows:

senior lecturer Irena Rashkova – project coordinator; senior lecturer Tsvetelina Petrova – project administratorand teacher; Prof. Dr. Sc. Dimitar Dichev; Assoc. Prof. Hristo Hristov- teacher; Assoc. Prof. Hristofor Koev- teacher; Iliyan Gospodinov – IT specialist.

The project target groups are as follows:

  • learners: 3rd and 4th – year students following a bachelor degree course in Mechatronics;
  • enterprises in the sector of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics;
  • university teachers;
  • in-company trainers.

The project aims

  • to establish a new higher education-business partnership structure to bolster the cooperation between technical universities (as VET providers) and enterprises, supported by authorities and social partners, at local/regional level so that they can provide WBL and apprenticeship in the sector of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics more successfully at tertiary level;
  • to provide industry-relevant curriculum in Mechatronics so as to produce industry-ready engineers thus reducing the skills mismatch and facilitating their access to the labour market within the respective regions, which, in the long run, will lead to improving enterprises’ performance and growth, as well as regional development;
  • to build an effective cooperation structure for sharing knowledge, skills and experience between university teachers and in-company trainers thus improving their competences for the better delivery of apprenticeships.

The main project products are

  • Apprenticeship Cluster in Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics;
  • WBL Curriculum focusing on apprenticeship in Mechatronics;
  • E-Train-the-trainer Module I (intended for in-company trainers/mentors);
  • E-Train-the-trainer Module II (intended for university teachers acting as academic mentors);
  • Apprenticeship discussion forum.

The expected project impact refers to

  • better cooperation between universities as VET providers and enterprises in the delivery of WBL and apprenticeship education to engineering students.
  • more active involvement of regional authorities and social partners in shaping industry-relevant educational provision that best matches regional labour market needs in relation to the priority sector of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics.
  • provision of industry-relevant WBL curriculum and study programmes, which will help to produce industry-ready engineers in Mechatronis thus facilitating their access to the labour market and easing enterprises to fill their engineering positions so as to boost performance.
  • better collaboration between university teachers and in-company trainers to improve their competences thus implementing apprenticeships more successfully.