Sometimes it only takes one person to recognize a potential synergy to set up a win-win collaboration. UCB is collaborating with different universities for pharmaceutical research. Many students and PhD’s work with the company to develop the medicine of the future. UCB is also keen to collaborate with more technically skilled students since those profiles are difficult to find and very needed by the company.
The collaboration between a technical high school in Charleroi and UCB Braine started small several years ago with some donations of void technical and lab supplies. Dysfunctional equipment generally ends as waste. However, such industrial equipment provides great opportunities for students to get to know real life installations by dismantling the machine piece by piece.
UCB and the school tried out yet another way of collaborating: this time through integration of a school project on the company site. During the decommissioning phase of a company construction project, the students undertook the removal of electrical cables and cabinets. They came on site in small groups accompanied by their professor to work. The school followed the same work requirements as professional external companies UCB usually work with. Students got familiar with non-technical tasks to take into account when working in real life such as performing job risk assessments, waste segregation, insurance needs, training and certification requirements (BA4, BA5) etc. The feedback from both UCB as well as the students were very positive. Students were extremely motivated and the job was executed with a lot of diligence.
UCB is welcoming for the 3rd year now technically skilled high school students following dual learning education through CEFA (Centre d’Education et de formation en Alternance). The scheme has been pretty successful. After graduating, several of these CEFA students have been offered a job contract at UCB.