FIS 2016, Automotive industry panelThe promotion of the vocational education system in Romania should be the priority of the public authorities, suggested company representatives during the third Foreign Investors Summit (FIS).

“Romania needs a much stronger exchange between schools and the industry,” said Johannes Heidecker, CFO of Star Transmission, the company making gearboxes for the German Daimler.

Mihai Boldijar, general manager of Robert Bosch Romania, added that vocational education should be adapted to the Romanian economy so that “at the end of three years of education, the graduate is well-prepared and can handle an expensive car.” Boldijar noted that Robert Bosch Romania has invested EUR 200 million in the country in the past ten years.

“As far as vocational education is concerned, there is a legal framework, but we are in the early stages,” said Loredana Van de Waart, partner at Gruia Dufaut Law Office.

In the past few years, Romania has been able to attract new investments to the automotive sector, mainly car parts makers, with the help of state aid schemes. Iulian Sorescu, associated partner, head of the financial department at Noerr, noted that the current state aid schemes run through to 2020, so there is time for other investors to apply for funding. “The initiative exists but we also have to look at the companies’ side, which, from our point of view, should inform themselves better, to understand the criteria and when they are ready to submit a request for state aid to say that they are meeting the criteria,” he added.