The kick-off conference of ‘Developing and Operating a Machine Tools VOC-TEST Center’ Project, which is conducted by Machine Tools Industrialists and Businessperson’s Association (TIAD), realized in Istanbul Akgun Hotel on 20th June, 2011.
TIAD submitted the project for the VOC-Test Center EU Grant Programme Call published by T.R Prime Ministry Under secretariat of Treasury, Central Finance & Contracts Unit (CFCU). In this respect, TIAD aimed to define the vocational qualifications and standards in machine tools industry and to test and certify them within this project. After the comprehensive evaluation process of CFCU, the project was approved on 18th of March, 2011. TIAD is carrying out the projects with partner Stichting Kenteq KBB (Centre of Expertise on VET and the Labour Market from Netherlands) andassociate partners INMA (National Institute of Research-Development for Machines and Installations Designed to Agriculture and Food Industry) fromRomania and Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology and METGEM (Bahcesehir University Vocational Technical Training Development Center) from Turkey.
After the VOC-Test Center Grant Agreement which was signed in CFCU, Ankara on 22nd March, 2011, TIAD started the activities of the project which will last for 24 months. In this respect, firstly, TIAD created a sector working group. This group organized a meeting and examined the current vocational standards and worked for the designing of the survey in order to define the requirements related to vocation and employment issues in machine tools industry. The surveys were sent to the institutions operating in machine tool industry via e-mail and fax. Afterwards, TIAD realized the kick-off conference of the project in Istanbul Akgun Hotel on 20 June, 2011 with the participation of the TIAD authority key conference speakers, project partners and subcontractors and TIAD members, other industrial stakeholders and press.
The board chairman of the TIAD, Erdal Gamsiz, made the opening speech of the conference and said that ‘The VOC-Test Center will be an efficient and sustainable project in establishment of machine tools and services, which will operate in accordance with the European Qualifications Framework. The project will last for 24 months and TİAD will be authorized to operate a testing and certification center as a result of the project. TIAD will also reach the qualified human resources target within the scope of Turkey’s industry strategy document and machine sector strategy and action plans between 2011 and 2014. The certificates which will be given at the end of the project to the personnel evaluated through tests will be more important than the school diplomas in the field. I am looking forward to start the certification system. My target is to have the first certificate.’ Gamsız also indicated that when the VOC-Test Center begins to operate, it will be an institution like a university in terms of the given certificates and also added that this project is a pilot of the EU and Turkey and the similar projects will be applied for the other sectors in the future. The Project Coordinator, Leyla Arsan stated that the machine manufacturing would not be without the machine tools and indicated that the overall objective of the project is to test and certify the required and sufficient knowledge, skills, attitude, manner and competence of persons who had vocational and technical education and training in the ‘Machine design and manufacturing’ sector and ‘Repair and installation of machinery and equipment’ sub-sector which will be under National Qualifications System (NQS) and in line with European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and as a result to contribute to their employment as qualified personnel.
With the Project Kick-off Conference TIAD succeeded to announce the project to the sector representatives, disseminate the project objectives to a larger group and make them learn the planned project activities and objectives in order to involve these representatives to the project activities. Moreover, the conference increased the awareness of the participants on the importance of the vocational qualifications certificates for the industry and economy.