The main reason for founding REMO West-Twente in 2006 was the shortage of well-trained technical personnel. Many students travelled to the cities in the region with ROC [regional training centre] courses at the time, where they went on to work on completing their studies. That is why a number of engineering companies in the Rijssen-Holten municipal district had the desire, following the example of the construction sector, to train personnel themselves to MBO [vocational secondary education] level. Setting up the REMO West-Twente training centre was a joint initiative by Voortman Steel Group, Hawo and Gerrit Schalk. Mr Schalk: “Voortman Steel Group, and Gerrit Voortman in particular, has been closely involved with REMO from the outset. For Voortman, this was not just a matter of well-trained personnel for their own company, but definitely a benefit to the local community and to other companies as well. In addition to this, Voortman is always prepared to invest in students, training them to make good specialists.”
Thanks to positive collaboration with the Twente ROC and the Rijssen-Holten municipal authority, in January 2007 REMO West-Twente started the construction and machining course at BBL (Vocational Guidance Training Pathway) level 2. In 2009, these courses were also offered at level 3 to which were added mechatronics, installation and electrical engineering at levels 2 and 3. Meanwhile, REMO is also offering courses at level 4. This academic year there are 215 students combining studying at REMO and working. REMO employs six practical instructors to provide all these students with proper guidance. Theory lessons are being provided by ten ROC teaching staff.
Gerrit Schalk: “The strength of REMO West-Twente lies in its combination of theory and practice: REMO and the member companies offer the practical part and the Twente ROC provides the theory part of the training. All students are enrolled here and are awarded a ROC diploma on completing their training.” Practice and theory are closely coordinated with each other: the six theory rooms are inside the 3,000 m2 practical centre. The machines in the mechatronics practical area are unique; REMO has the use of them on loan from member companies. These include a plasma-cutting machine from Voortman Steel Machinery and machinery from others including Niverplast, Teunis and Schuitemaker. This enables students to familiarise themselves with the different machines in various set-ups, each with their own operating system.