How can new technologies, for example, be introduced and implemented in day-to-day operations if workers lack the necessary expert knowledge? In the SCHOOLPLATE project, this problem was addressed specifically for the Thai electroplating industry.
The SCHOOLPLATE project is a cooperation between the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, the Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute (MMRI) of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Bonn. SCHOOLPLATE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and kicked off officially on 01 January 2020. The project will be carried out and implemented in two phases in close cooperation with TEPNET. With a core group of more than 50 companies, the Thai electroplating industry association TEPNET (Thailand Electroplating Professional Network) was founded in 2015 and links up industry and education with government players. The association aims at improving the industry's ability to manufacture high quality products at competitive production costs in an environmentally friendly and energy efficient manner and at contributing towards innovation.
To achieve these objectives, it is essential to be able to rely on available and appropriately qualified employees. At present, however, there are no suitable vocational training and further education measures in Thailand that are capable of meeting the electroplating industry’s needs. The project therefore aims to support the Thai electroplating industry in defining, developing and testing needs-based training and further education measures.
Therefore, in the first phase of the project - the exploratory phase - a survey was conducted to assess the industry’s needs in order to develop appropriate measures. In the second phase of the project, the focus of the project team will be on designing and testing various vocational education and training measures in collaboration with local stakeholders.