Tarnów has a well developed and effective system of technical and vocational training. Local schools and colleges react to the demand of labour market in order to accommodate the fast pace of changes in the structure of employment in the region. It second largest, besides Kraków, academic centre with 6 colleges and over 6000 students. The city attracts students from the agglomeration due to its wide variety of courses and trainings. Local government has always supported higher education in order to improve the quality of life and image of the city as the biggest educational centre in its region. The largest public college – the State Vocational College in Tarnów (PWSZ), currently attended by 4000 students, offers courses for in twenty most popular faculties within six departments: Engineering and Technology, Language Studies, Maths and Science, Administration and Economy, Healthcare or Art.
The State Vocational College cooperates with local high schools and technological secondary schools, some of which have been granted a scientific patronage, granting access to the courses and labs as well as the educational aids available.
Malopolska School of Economics in Tarnow is a private college established in 1995 by Małopolska Centre of Economic Education. Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses are accompanied by a practical experience gained during training and internships both in Poland and abroad. The college was the first university in Tarnów to be registered in the Lifelong Learning Programme National Agency – Erasmus in 2000.
Apart from the universities, there are numerous secondary schools that offer both general and vocational classes, offering professional support and guidance as regarding their career path. 2nd High School – named after John Tarnowski, is the only state owned secondary school in Malopolska allowing the students to pass international A-levels in English.
Technical and vocational secondary schools are very popular among teenagers. They offer versatile curricula and internships at local employers. Being responsive to the job market needs, new class profiles are created, which provide training of chemical technology technicians, CNC operators, electro mechanics or photo lab technicians specializing in pattern design.
Therefore, from early years at schools students are engaged in numerous international projects and exchanges, enabling them to gain not only linguistic qualifications. The cooperation between employers and collages is one of the key decision making factors having impact on new courses formation. The research conducted by IPC Research Institute confirmed that over a thousand local companies is active in the foreign markets.
One may say that a great strength of the city lies in the young people, who after being properly educated, will become the core of the future business. In over a dozen language schools and three modern language faculties students acquire a range of useful skills. More than a hundred graduates of English, German and French Philology joins the job market every year. From early years at schools students are engaged in numerous international projects and exchanges, enabling them to gain not only linguistic qualifications, but the experience and respect for other cultures, that will give them the cutting edge at the job market.