Economie071 is a handy means for ROC Leiden to hold discussions with various parties. The more interconnections and crossovers there are, the better it is for students and the economic climate. ROC Leiden Director Ricardo Winter: “The doors in this region are always wide open.”
“I like to cause friendly confrontations to bring different worlds together. I like to bring students from the Leiden student union Quintus together with my students to share a beer or two. A little bit of nurturing because that is also part of being an educational institution. What can the students from the university do for our students? For example, can they help them by tutoring or with homework guidance?
Students from the Leiden region meet each other more easily than in other cities. That is also true of businesses and organisations. The culture here is open and direct. Whoever they are, I will always meet with someone who thinks constructively. The doors are always open.”
“Our education must continue to reflect the needs of employers. Because in order to achieve economic growth, we have to match supply and demand in the labour market perfectly. We pay special attention to what types of employers there are and which skills they demand of the students. We listen very seriously to their needs.
The collaboration with companies is going well. At our Open Days, technical companies stand side by side with our lecturers, proudly presenting their work to parents and students.”
Pride in Craftsmanship
“Economie071 focusses on the knowledge economy. By providing vocational training we make an important contribution. For example we train technicians for hospitals so that operating theatres and maintenance services function well. There are many more occupations in the field of life sciences with which we as MBO (vocational education) are closely involved. Our laboratory education works closely with the education given at the Hogeschool Leiden at a joint location.
Sixty percent of the Dutch working population has a vocational education. They ensure that our economy continues to run. We are very proud of the professionalism shown by our students.”
Learning From Each Other
“We are a big supporter of joint education with other institutions so that we can learn from each other. For example with HBO (advanced vocational education) but also in many other ways. I believe that pop-up-companies are a perfect example of entrepreneurial collaboration. I really want our vocational students to have the opportunity of being able to learn in such an environment.
By working together with the industry and the university we have given a boost to non-university internships. Students from the university think too quickly of an internship at Shell or Unilever, but they could also have educational internships at companies with just five employees.”
Not Just Chatter
“For many MBO students with entry training (level 1) and level 2 it is difficult to find suitable work in our region. Within our project Aansluiting Onderwijs Arbeidsmarkt (connecting education and labour markets) we work towards improving the position of this particular group in the labour market. Another aim of this project is to be able to offer an internship at a training company to all MBO students.
Thanks to internships, employers get first choice from the group of students who graduate with us. Through their experience they have seen what a person can do and so save on costs in the search for new people.
There were several initiatives in this area already in progress, but often the parties were unaware of each other. Thanks to the Economic Agenda put forward by Economie071, we can make all kinds of connections and exchange information. In particular, education and employers networks are better utilized. Amongst other things that has led to setting up a central point of expertise where we answer questions put by the industry. It is not just about chat but about demonstrating the benefits to entrepreneurs.”
“I am enthusiastic about HUBspot, the new centre for innovation and entrepreneurship. We, the ROC want to look further. What can we as a school learn from others? How can we best stay up-to-date with the developments in technology and innovation?
This cross-pollination offered by HUBspot is essential to providing good education. The entrepreneurial skills learnt by students ensure a good start in the labour market. When new companies join HUBspot, we are keen to fill their training placements. The MBO student learns from the HBO student and the HBO student learns what the MBO student can do. Only through this type of initiative can you make smart connections.”
“This region has the tendency to behave like Calimero but that is not right. This region actually has much to offer in many areas: the Bio Science Park, LUMC, a renowned university and its location close to Schiphol Airport and the coast. This gives the area an incredible potential which in my view is hardly being used.
There are many positive developments, such as in tourism. Follow the trends. Our challenge is to provide education that is so good that even students from The Hague would want to hop on their scooter to come to us. These kinds of ideas should not only be thought about, but actually be carried out. In other words, thinking big and then living up to it.”