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EU contributes to the launch of a new profession: operating civilian drones


Together with partners, we prepared a methodological framework, developed a training programme and purchased drones for practical exercises

The European Union (EU), in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MESU), contributed to introducing the new profession of “Operator of Remotely Controlled Devices.” The training – based at specialized vocational schools – covers the management, repair and maintenance of various types of civilian drones.

In 2022, the EU responded to the Lviv Department of Education and Science initiative and supported an interregional working group of teachers, methodologists and employers who developed methodological foundations for the new speciality. As a result, three educational programmes were created: primary education, advanced training and elective training.

This initiative fully meets the requirements of today because remotely controlled devices are actively used in many industries, such as agriculture and forestry, cartography, geodesy, and construction. Drones are also utilized during rescue operations, demining activities, and assessing damage caused by hostilities.

Given the relevance of the new profession, in addition to two pilot educational institutions in Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv oblasts, in 2023, five more institutions joined the initiative – in Chernihiv, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Sumy oblasts. The EU provided them with 28 modern drones for practical exercises, and organized training for 14 teachers, who transfer the acquired knowledge and skills in drone operation to students on the ground.

Iryna Shumik, Director General of the Directorate of Vocational Education of the MESU, noted that thanks to the support provided to vocational institutions, it was possible for students to enter a new profession. “It is important to emphasize that the experimental training of specialists is already taking place. In addition, a professional standard was recently approved that sets out the competency requirements for future drone operators,” she said. “We are grateful to our partners for their concern for the initiative of educational institutions, equipment and strengthening cooperation with employers. Now we have had an excellent result, and, for our part, we are working to create an educational standard.”

Henrik Huitfeldt, Head of the Local and Human Development Section at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, emphasised the European Union’s commitment to the further development of Ukraine’s vocational education and training sector. “The civilian use of drones in rebuilding territories affected by the war is and will be necessary,” he said. “This is about aerial surveying to assess the damage caused to infrastructure and ecosystems, monitoring agricultural land, and researching inaccessible or dangerous areas. We are glad that our joint initiative is contributing to the development of new professions in the Ukrainian vocational education system.”

Media enquiries: Valentyna Smal, Vocational Education Development Specialist

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