Harvester Driver Training in Russia (Tacis) (Harvester Driver Tra..)
Harvester Driver Training in Russia (Tacis)
Start date: Jul 20, 2006,
End date: Jan 20, 2009
Finland is a pioneer in machine-building and developing wood harvesting. The amount of forest harvester machines delivered to Russia during the year preceding the project had increased considerably, which had increased the need for developing local harvester driver training. The shared general goal of the Harvester Driver Training in Russia joint project was to improve the operational environment in the forest industry through training. The specific goal of the Interreg part of the joint project was to develop a short-term harvester driver course for Russians at Valtimo North Karelia College, in order to meet the rapidly increasing demand. In addition, the export of Finnish forest harvester machines would be promoted by improving the harvester drivers’ abilities to utilise new technologies. The goal of the Tacis part was to establish a foundation for creating harvester driver training in the Republic of Karelia. The training would be offered independently using local resources. Achievements: The development of the short-term harvester driver course by Valtimo North Karelia College was started by exploring the educational material intended for Finnish and Russian target groups. The material’s suitability for a short-term course for Russian target groups was then assessed. Particular attention was paid to the suitability of the learning material in a Russian operational environment. Similarly, the existing educational and learning material in Russian was explored. The findings concluded that though there was lots of material in Russian, including user manuals and maintenance guides, the main defi ciency was the lack of condensed, practical, and illustrated instructional material for specific functions. During the planning of the short-term training course, North Karelia College studied the content of the short-term course currently in use by Russian harvester drivers, made the necessary changes, and produced a short description of the education plan and its teaching methods in both Finnish and Russian. The content of the course was planned in a manner that would supplement the theoretical learning being developed by Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School. Lots of new educational material was produced in Russian for the new training programme. In addition, applicable Valtimo North Karelia College materials were translated from Finnish to Russian. The learning material was produced in electronic format, so that it could be easily updated in the future. In Russia, a current situational analysis was conducted for Petrozavodsk Forest Teknikum and Uchebnyi Centre. In addition, the scope of the need for harvester driver training, and its content, was analysed at wood harvesting companies in the Republic of Karelia. The strategy formulated as based on the analyses for developing the harvester driver training at Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School was presented to stakeholders at a seminar held in Petrozavodsk. The new training programme and learning material developed in the Interreg section of the project for Valtimo North Karelia College were put to the test using a two-week contact learning period. The essential goal of the pilot training course was to train Russian instructors for the needs of the Republic of Karelia. Harvester 99 www.euregiokarelia.fi driver training expertise from Valtimo North Karelia College was also transferred to Shuisko-Vidanskaja during the planning phase of the Russian educational programme. Based on the feedback from the pilot period, Valtimo North Karelia College is planning on developing its training programme into a module structure product. It will then be easier to customise the course to meet the needs of each customer and the expertise level of the students. Using project funding, computers were acquired for both Russian partner institutions for learning purposes. In addition, a used harvester simulator was purchased, which was installed at the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School. The latest purchase, a pre-owned harvester, will be delivered to Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School, once a certificate has been received from CIHTA that releases it from being subject to duties and Russian VAT. The Russian pilot period for forest harvester driver training was implemented, in cooperation with the instructors from John Deere Forestry Oy, at the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School during the spring of 2007. Official forest harvester driver training in the Republic of Karelia was started in the autumn of the same year. Shuisko- Vidanskaja Forest Technical School has already organised five three-month training periods, which have had an approximate total of 50 participants. The feedback, gathered at the conclusion of the training, is used for continuous development of the training programme with regard to its content, teaching methods, and sufficiency of the number of classes. A new part of the training includes a practice job using the harvester simulator, which improves the students’ ability to operate a harvester in practice. The project had significant impact on developing the Shuisko-Vidanskaja Forest Technical School; new training programme, machines and equipment acquired for learning purposes, improved learning environment, and direct contacts with local wood harvesting companies and the employment agency ensure that harvester driver training will be continued at the school after the project’s conclusion. Valtimo North Karelia College also benefited from the project. It received valuable experience and expertise by developing the training programme. This improved both the college’s competitiveness as a training provider and its ability to attract students, both domestic and international.
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