On 16th November 2023 eight students from vocational high schools and eight university students met in Gabrovo to participate in the first CRE8 workshop, following the Swedish model. They tried to find a sustainable solution to a problem raised by Mechatronica, a Bulgarian company producing packaging machines. They had to respond to the following challenging question “How do we retain talented young engineers graduated from the Technical University of Gabrovo?”. To do that, the students were divided into 4 teams, each of which consisted of 2 students from vocational high schools and 2 university students. They were very enthusiastic and debated to the last possible moment.
A variety of solutions were proposed from financial benefits and favourable working conditions to prospects of career development and training. The fourth team most thoroughly analyzed the problem and suggested the most sustainable solution, which included a new aspect, i.e. since most university graduates come from other Bulgarian towns, the team proposed logistics support and financial support for renting a flat in addition to the above mentioned solutions. Moreover, the team members answered the jury’s questions best.
The company was impressed by the students’ presentations where possibilities for career development and welcoming working environment were placed first rather than remuneration.