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P-TECH, A New, Global Educational Program Enters Poland

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that IBM in cooperation with the Katowice City Hall, Samsung, Fujitsu, the Educational Research Institute, and under the Honorary Patronage of the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Ministry of Digitization, is launching an education and workforce development model called P-TECH. The main goal of the P-TECH model is to strengthen regional economies and disadvantaged populations with a workforce better prepared for "new collar" jobs -- skilled, tech positions that require more than a secondary school diploma, but don't necessarily require a traditional, four-year college degree.

Two technical schools from Katowice and one from Wronki were chosen for the pilot edition of P-TECH and will be joining about 200 other schools from around the world, participating in the program.

The first school, which opened in Brooklyn in 2011, is a collaboration between the New York City Department of Education, The City University of New York and IBM. Since that time, the P-TECH model has been put into practice in 19 countries by more than 200 schools around the world in cooperation with more than 650 industry partners.

The Technical School No. 2 in Katowice will partner with IBM Polska; the Silesian Technical Research Facilities from Katowice will collaborate with Fujitsu Polska, and the Technical School No. 1 "Szkoła na Leśnej" in Wronki will work with Samsung. The P-TECH model will be expanding throughout Poland in the following years, with strong interest from many schools, local governments and state institutions. Across Europe, new schools in the UK, France, the Czech Republic and Ireland will also open this year.

“Professions related to IT are considered by experts to be the most promising and one of the highest paid. Despite this advantages, we will have to face the insufficient number of people educated in this sector worldwide in the future. Therefore The P-TECH is an adequate response to the constantly growing market demand for IT specialists, enabling young people to obtain the necessary knowledge and experience at the high school stage, and to gain stable, well-paid and developmental work in the nearest future. Moreover this initiative, except for all benefits it brings, is also another example of successful cooperation between business, science and local government” – says Marcin Krupa, Katowice City Mayor.

During their five years of P-TECH schooling, students will earn their high school diploma (matura) and IT Technician diploma or the Mechatronic Engineering Technician diploma while benefitting from a range of rich workplace experiences, such as mentoring and internships. For example, students will participate in the daily work of their mentor (job shadowing), get to know the business environment from within the company and engage in paid internships.

P-TECH does not require any change in the core curriculum. Partner companies work in cooperation with the schools’ teaching staff to provide additional substantive input or tools for already existing subjects and classes and to equip students with specific skills needed in the labour market and in the sector in which the company operates. The partner company is also committed to support P-TECH graduates in the process of entering the job market.

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