VET-business cooperation (school-economy) opportunities and challenges for "student/student companies"

"Business and Education Partnership" Foundation (BEG) within the framework of the German "Vocational Education and Training (VET) - Cooperation in the South Caucasus" program in 2021. On February 12-13, a workshop was held in Aghveran, to which leading representatives of "ROSGOSTRACH-ARMENIA", "SIL INSURANCE" insurance companies, "YUCOM", "TELECOM ARMENIA" telecommunication companies and other sectors, as well as directors of VET institutions were invited. The purpose of the workshop was to organize a preliminary discussion on the issue of possible insurance for the students of the "Student/Student Companies" created by the pilot program in VET institutions, as well as to discuss the opportunities and challenges of VET-business cooperation in the "School-Economy" structure.

Marine Zhamkochian, the president of the BCG and the head of the "VET-cooperation" program, presented the "Student/Student Companies" initiative program in Armenia. In 2020, "Student/Student Companies" were established at Vayots Dzor Regional State College, Gyumri No. 4 Vocational State College, Lori Regional State College, Berdi State Multipurpose College, Yerevan Armenian-Greek State College of Tourism, Service and Food Industry, Yerevan Informatics in the state college, in primary school No. 143 named after Movses Khorenatsi in Yerevan, in secondary school No. 8 named after Anania Shirakatsi in Spitak. For the creation and organization of "Student/Student Societies" and the regulation of their further activities, a teacher's/educator's methodological manual is being developed, which will later serve as a guide for teachers/pedagogues of educational institutions and leaders of "Student/Student Societies".

Ms. Zhamkochian mentioned that the importance of the issue of student insurance arose even during the organization of students' educational and production practices in companies, when cases/accidents appear due to the student's carelessness, and damages are caused to the company's property and employees. As a result, a number of situations arise, related to students not having insurance or companies not making insurance payments to students, compensation to companies, etc. He suggested to the insurance companies to present a special proposal for the "Students' Companies" of the above VET institutions, which can later become a precedent for all students of other educational institutions in general.

The representatives of the insurance companies mentioned that they offer different packages of insurance services, also family, where the members of the insured person's family are included and various risks are calculated, but they do not have such an offer as insurance for students of VET institutions, but this issue is debatable and recommended. insurance premium too. Directors of VET institutions also made suggestions.

As an opportunity for cooperation between insurance companies and VET institutions, a proposal was made to train insurance agents. It was noted that in the expanding field of insurance, today, especially in the field of agriculture, and in the labor market, the demand for insurance agents is high. For this purpose, "ROSGOSSTRAKH-ARMENIA" company organizes two-month short-term theoretical and practical courses. Therefore, as a possible option for cooperation, it was proposed to adapt the training program for insurance agents developed by the company in accordance with the standards of VET institutions and to implement short-term courses.

Ms. Zhamkochian highlighted all the initiatives aimed at improving the VET sector in Armenia, noting that the agreements reached on the issues discussed during the workshop and all the proposals presented will be developed and presented to the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, Sports for discussion during the planned official meeting.