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The panel titled “Education: Paths to Competencies” was held on Tuesday evening as a part of the 30th Kopaonik Business Forum, and Vadim Smirnov, Deputy CEO and the Director of Function for Government Relations and Corporate Communications, participated on behalf of NIS Company.
Other participants in the panel included: Nebojša Bjelotomić, Director of the Digital Serbia Initiative, Jelena Ostojić, Professor at the Fourth Belgrade Grammar School and Miloš Đuričanin, Director of the Strategy and Development of the Nordeus Foundation.
The panel jointly assessed that, in addition to formal education, pupils and students need access to informal forms of education in order to successfully respond to the needs of the modern labour market.
The panel also pointed out that companies can significantly contribute to improvements in the field of education.
A good example is the NIS Company, which cooperates with numerous domestic and international educational institutions through the “Energy of Knowledge” programme, and also provides scholarships to talented students.
Vadim Smirnov stated that the Company has established partnerships with 11 universities in Serbia, the region and in the Russian Federation, as well as with 30 faculties and numerous scientific associations. According to him, through the “Energy of Knowledge” programme, a significant number of students received scholarships, more than 60 of whom have been employed by NIS after graduation.
“Serbian education has always been excellent, only specialisation was needed. We noticed this at NIS, and have started our cooperation with educational institutions and also have initiated student scholarships in accordance with business needs. This has been going on since 2009 and we have achieved excellent results. Not only do we have our own trained employees, but we also have the competence to provide certain services to companies around the world,” Smirnov said.
He stated the example of Scientific and Technology Centre of NIS in Novi Sad that employs over 300 employees, among which are young experts, former Company’s scholarship holders, out of whom many had completed their education abroad and then returned to Serbia to work at NIS.
Smirnov added that NIS also has established the cooperation with high schools, thus equipping more than 60 classrooms and laboratories in Serbian schools, in order to improve conditions for education.
“Our efforts were recognised by the Serbian Government and we have been endowed with the St. Sava award two times. One for the Company and one for our CEO”, Smirnov said and added that NIS would continue to provide support to educational institutions and young talents.
Nebojsa Bjelotomic, the director of Digital Serbia initiative, said on the panel that both formal and informal forms of education need the support from companies.
“Formal education cannot and do not need to follow the needs of economy only, since not even economy knows what will be needed in five or more years”, Bjelotomic stated and emphasized the importance of informal education.