Two renovated classrooms, equipped for laboratory class rooms with the support of Kumtor Operating Company were inaugurated at Bishkek-based vocational school No. 27 today, September 13, 2012. The ceremony was attended by Company Management. This year the Company not only funded repair works and paid for new furniture, but also continued to cover education fees of group of students.
A pilot program for graduates of Issyk-Kul region schools to study at Bishkek-based vocational lyceums was launched 12 years ago. In 2006 it was transformed into Regional scholarships program for residents of Issyk-Kul region, the main purpose of which – is to provide assistance for local youth in getting a degree in a demanded working specialty. The opportunity to get an education at vocational school No. 27 is given not only for residents of Jety-Oguz district, but also for graduates from Ton district and a city of Balykchi. Priority is given to children from large and needy families, and orphaned children who show good progress in studies but cannot afford to obtain post-school education. Tuition, board and lodging costs throughout the training period of 3 years are covered by Kumtor Operating Company. In addition, the Company pays a monthly stipend. Within a two-year education program, students gain skills as heavy-duty truck mechanics and drivers (B and C categories) and industrial equipment repairmen. Also, they master the fundamentals of welding and electrical engineering. To finalize school training, the students undergo a practical training at Kumtor under a graduate internship program.
Almost 80 students from Issyk-Kul got a professional education on the expense of the Company starting from 2000. This year, six Issyk-Kul students were enabled to gain professional skills at vocational school No. 27 with KOC’s support while another fifteen people continue training as second-year and eleven people as third-year students. The best graduates have become employees of the Kumtor mine.
“We regard Kumtor as an exemplary operation employing advanced technologies and having high qualifying standards, a model of cooperation between an employer and a school,” says Igor Mankovsky, director of vocational school No. 27. “Our training program is built so as to meet Kumtor standards. Our school is the only one throughout the Former Soviet Union to offer a special training course based on modern Canadian methods which were provided by Alberta Technical Training Institute (Canada). With advanced training skills, our graduates are in great demand on the labor market.”
For the students to gain technical skills and learn truck maintenance techniques, KOC sponsored Kamaz truck engines, Kraz and Kamaz trucks, Ford and Ford Van vehicles and a number of components, to the vocational school.
“This project is primarily designed to assist young people in the rural areas with gaining professional skills required in this country. Importantly, our mutually beneficial cooperation provides a positive example of a dialogue between an employer and a school. These graduates, I am sure, will be eagerly employed not only by Kumtor but also by other Kyrgyz operations badly needing qualified labor. Considering the importance of a professional training system, Kumtor Operating Company will continue to give particular attention to this issue,” said Michael Fischer, President of Kumtor Operating Company.