The STEM education programs (programming, metalworking, mechatronics) that are set as a priority in the development strategy of the VVTC, are rapidly reaching the student quota or have already exceeded it. According to the strategy, 48 students should be studying programming at the VVTC in 2025, however, in the light of the labour market demand, 130 students are already studying this profession. The number of mechatronics students stands at 64, approaching the aim of preparing 72 professionals by 2025. 48 students are studying in the metalworking program, which is on course to fulfilling the plan of preparing 64 specialists in three years.
The director of VVTC Vineta Melngārša welcomes the trend: “We are genuinely pleased that more and more young people choose to pursue vocational education after completing the 9th grade! By systematically developing and strengthening the STEM education programs, we have achieved a rapid increase of students in these fields. The programming study program is only in its third year, yet nevertheless, as many as 130 students will study it in 2021/2022 study year, helping to fill the high demand in the labour market.”
This year, VVTC expanded its communication channels and activity to reach a wider audience and adapt the contents to the specific audience of each platform. Targeted communication via Facebook has found an audience in the largest cities of Latvia – Riga, Daugavpils, Liepāja, Rēzekne -, shifting focus from Valmiera and its surroundings to a broader nationwide reach.
Meanwhile, the increase of Instagram followers over the last six months in Riga (from 15.9% to 48.4% of all followers) and in the 13 to 17 age group (from 11.5% to 15.1%) demonstrates that VVTC speaks “modern urban language” and is able to engage target audience not only in Valmiera and Vidzeme region but in the capital as well. To address more teenagers, who are the primary audience of the school, VVTC has created a TikTok account with some of the most popular videos receiving up to 130 thousand views. It also has a LinkedIn profile to be in touch with potential employees and partners.
A total of 638 students will study at VVTC this year – it is the largest number of high-school students in the entire Valmiera Municipality. This is one of the best-equipped education institutions in the Baltic States, offering a contemporary and innovative environment to pursue skills in hospitality, culinary arts, food processing, logistics, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, accounting, programming, and customer service.