New Laboratory for the new school year

Students of dual-education chemistry courses at the Technical School No. 1 in Starogard Gdański received an extraordinary ‘gift’ from Polpharma as they entered the new school year: a perfectly equipped chemical laboratory for practical vocational training of analytical technicians. Overseen by professional trainers from Polpharma, students will acquire practical knowledge that will help them easily find a job in the future.

The new laboratory is located on the premises of Polpharma plant in Starogard Gdański. The company has covered all costs of construction and purchase of the apparatus and reagents. The laboratory takes up more than 360 square metres, sitting on two floors. Aside from amenity rooms for students and teaching staff, it includes, among other things, titrimetric analysis rooms, a physico-chemical analysis lab, a balance room, a drier and oven room, as well as storage facilities for reagents, glassware and clothing. The laboratory boasts state-of-the-art equipment and reagents. Students can start their first classes within the next few days. There are innovative microscopes in the lab, along with analytical balances, general laboratory balances, fume cupboards, electric oven, thermometers, pH meters, refractometers, polarimeters, laboratory glassware, and more. All this complemented by a professional set of reagents. The layout and equipment of the laboratory were prepared in line with the requirements of the curriculum of the dual-education course, which was prepared jointly by college teachers and Polpharma professionals. This way, the youth will have the chance to work with the same equipment they will use in their future jobs. The laboratory can accommodate two groups of eight students supervised by teachers at the same time.

The refurbishment, fitting out and conversion works commenced the year before. Starting from September, the laboratory will be used by the first and second grade of the dual-education course for analytical technicians. Today, an opening ceremony has been led by Tomasz Moys, Vice President of Polpharma SA, Leszek Burczyk, the Starogard Gdański District Governor and Tadeusz Burczyk, Headmaster of the Complex of Economic Schools in Starogard Gdański.

“We are proud and excited to hand over this building, where tomorrow students from two dual-education grades will start their practical classes. We have successfully passed the checks by the District Fire Service and District Sanitary Inspector, and the District Inspector of Building Control has granted us an occupancy permit. We are happy that in a moment we will have the opportunity to host young people with a true passion for life sciences and chemistry. When they finish school, we are going to invite them to work for Polpharma. Owing to the dual-education system, they will be better prepared for the job and they will understand the intricacies of our business”, said Tomasz Moys, Vice President of Polpharma.

“This is one of the first examples of such intense cooperation in dual education in Poland. I am convinced that the partnership will lead to mutually beneficial outcomes. Students will gain the opportunity to acquire practical skills in innovative laboratories, with a powerful impact on the quality of learning. And when they finish school, they will be able to take up attractive jobs with one of the best employers in Poland. Polpharma, in turn, will benefit from an influx of new, well-educated professionals who are aware of our work culture. Given the current labour market challenges, this is of strategic importance to the operations and development of the company”, said Leszek Burczyk, the Starogard Gdański District Governor.

The first dual-education course for analytical technicians was reactivated in Starogard Gdański last year after more than 20 years. In the framework of dual education, and owing to cooperation with Zakłady Farmaceutyczne Polpharma SA, students taking the new course will have the opportunity to learn theory at school and acquire practical skills in the laboratory on the premises of Polpharma in Starogard Gdański. The youth will be able to use innovative measuring equipment, the necessary power tools and reagents. The 4-year learning cycle covers as least 750 hours of practical vocational education and 240 hours of apprenticeship. For first-grade students, the theoretical vocational education, including the necessary OHS training, will start at the beginning of the school year, while practical training at Polpharma is scheduled to begin from January. Second-grade students, on the other hand, will start their laboratory classes already at the beginning of September. The second-grade curriculum includes two full days of laboratory training and three days of classroom sessions at school, where theoretical and general subjects will be taught.

“I am very pleased to have the second dual-education class for analytical technicians starting at our school. I can see that the current second-grade students achieve great learning outcomes, which makes them very likely to succeed in vocational exams and future education. I am also glad that we can see, based on this class, how successful the dual education model is, helping the future graduates learn a sought-after profession. I am also grateful to our partners at Polpharma for excellent cooperation between the company and our school”, said Tadeusz Burczyk,Headmaster of the Complex of Economic Schools in Starogard Gdański.

In the school year 2017-2018, 16 students will start the first dual-education grade for analytical technicians, and 14 students will carry on in the second grade. The enrolment process for the dual-education class was very competitive. There were more than 2 candidates for every place, both this year and last year. In the course of education, the students will receive certificates confirming the following qualifications: “AU.59. preparing equipment, chemical reagents and samples for analytical tests” and “AU.60. carrying out analytical tests”. Related examinations are planned for the second and fourth grade.