This is an event that has already become a tradition, supported by the association “EUROPEA International”, for the students and teachers of the forestry professional education institutions of the European countries to meet at the European Championships in Forestry Skills, once a year, in order to:
- present their skills in forest cultivation and restoration, tree felling, and work with forestry equipment;
- share the experience on how to achieve a higher quality of education.
Preparing for the European Championship in Forestry Skills is an enormous work, and it’s a collaboration with competition’s supporters and sponsors. A Preparatory Meeting is organized for the championship to pass smoothly, during which the member states of the competition analyse the experience of previous championships, specify the regulation of the championship, and get acquainted with the location of the next competition.
On 23-26 May, 2019, the already 18th European Championship in Forestry Skills (ECFS) for students will be organized by the Svenljunga Natural Resource School in Sweden. The Preparatory Meeting of the competition took place on 1-4 November, 2018, at Svenljunga School. The meeting was led by the ECFS management committee: Peter Tretter from Germany, Markus Wilfinger from Austria, and Petra Prelc from Slovenia. We received a warm-hearted welcome at the Svenljunga School from the Director Peter Nyman and the Project Manager Zoltan Doczi. The Preparatory Meeting was attended by participants from Austria, France, Estonia, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, and Sweden.
At the Preparatory Meeting we analysed the course and the results of the 17th European Championship in Forestry Skills that took place in May, 2018, in Sopron (Hungary), discussed and agreed upon the 18th ECFS Regulation, and voted for the host country of the ECFS in 2021—it will be the Ogre Technical School in Latvia. The 19th European Championship in Forestry Skills for students will be organized in May, 2020, by Romania.
During the Preparatory Meeting we got acquainted with the studying process organization at the Svenljunga School, young forest plantation and cultivation, logging, as well as got introduced to the Svenljunga collaboration partners, entrepreneurs, and attended one of the biggest collaboration partners, the company Sõdra. The Svenljunga School emphasized that the school has a unique cooperation with the branch enterprises. Entrepreneurs sit on the school’s Council and give recommendations as to what competencies the school should develop in students in order to comply with the labour market requirements. Entrepreneurs organize forums, to which the teachers are invited in order to discuss jointly how to cooperate in order to raise the education quality.
The Preparatory Meeting at Svenljunga School was very valuable for Ogre Technical School; we got a confirmation that the study process in our school is organized very similarly; we also realized the significance of the close collaboration with branch entrepreneurs, and gained a new cooperation partner.
We are very grateful for the warm welcoming to Peter Nyman, Director of Svenljunga School, project manager Zoltan Doczi, and the school teachers.
We thank the ECFS organization committee—Peter Tretter from Germany, Markus Wilfinger from Austria, and Petra Prelc from Slovenia for the valuable experience that we obtained when preparing for the European Championship in Forestry Skills.
Ogre Technical School representatives in Preparatory Meeting:
Ilze Brante, Director of the Ogre Technical School
Armands Lapiņš, teacher of forestry professional study subjects, trainer of the tree felling team, Ogre Technical School