Within the framework of a pilot project "dual learning", an initiative of Voka – Chamber of Commerce West-Flanders and university VIVES, for several months two students electromechanics got to know the ins and outs within different departments of Summa.
With dual learning, the student acquires skills in school as well as on the work floor. In this way, the needs of companies, the university, and the student can be optimally attuned to each other. There is a pressing need from West Flemish companies for strong technical profiles. Dual learning can be an ideal stepping stone for both the student and companies. The student learns to know the business world and business processes in an early stage, which in the long run may promote recruitment. Thanks to the 'dual learning' program, companies can better fill in the acute shortage of technical profiles because they are more involved in the training of students and can pass on their hands-on knowledge directly. The cooperation, therefore, offers a clear win-win for all participating parties.
Student Maxim Jonckheere explains: “At Summa, I got the opportunity to participate within different departments. In the production department, I helped with reorganizing a section in order to boost the actual production. In the service department, I received a short training after which I could help with the repair of a Summa cutting plotter. At engineering, I tested two types of knives in view of a brand-new design of flatbed finishing cutting machine. Also, the marketing department was interesting, although this is a department that is not immediately in line with my education. A large part of this department’s work happens at the office or on the road whilst supporting customers during events, demo shows, etc. An extensive knowledge of Summa machinery and software is also eminent in this department. But thanks to an initiation on the large flatbed cutting machines, I got a basic insight into the working of the Summa machines. Afterwards, a presentation about the arsenal of Summa machines followed, which I could attend together with a group of Summa distributors. Definitely a solid, fun and educational experience!
Also, student Anthony VanDamme got a taste of several Summa departments: “Day one was a hit straight away! Together with Mr. Geert Pierloot, Marketing & Business Development Manager, I left for a show in Lyon, France. An ideal immersion in the Print & Cut world, what Summa is all about. Once back at the office, I performed several tests in the marketing department and I even got the chance to attend a true congress. Furthermore, I performed another few quality tests at the engineering department and at the production department I got to know everything about the production line. In conclusion, I attended a technical training at the service department on the Summa cutting machines. This gave me the opportunity to go through all departments within the company. The ideal way to convert theoretical lessons, which I received at university, into everyday practice. It goes without saying that such an experience can never be gained from the school benches”.
Summa was excited immediately about the dual learning concept since it is an ideal way to make the company known to students. Moreover, the training program of the student, in collaboration with VIVES, will be better attuned to the real situation on the work floor. Vacancies at Summa, especially for technical profiles, can be filled in faster and more efficiently. Previous projects, such as the visit of Syntra West and the city's technical school to Summa, also helped to promote the wonderful world of technology. This way Summa hopes to inspire future technicians and to strengthen their passion for technology.
A special thanks goes out to VIVES university to have given Summa the opportunity to collaborate on this fantastic initiative and Summa wishes both students all the best in their school career and their future search for a job! You never know, we might bump into each other again later, here at Summa!