30 years and counting

Steel’s apprenticeship workshop in Kreuztal-Eichen celebrates its 30th anniversary.

“Since 1987 we have sent 776 extremely well-trained young people out into the world of work,” says Heinz-Joachim Klose, training manager at Steel in the Siegerland region. With its training shop in Kreuztal-Eichen, Steel is one of the largest companies offering apprenticeships in the region. There are well over 100 apprentices learning and working at the Siegerland technical center, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. “The majority of apprentices remain at the company after finishing their training, mainly supporting our production and maintenance operations. Some former apprentices have even started degrees during or after their training and now hold management positions at our company,” says Klose. “We’re really proud of our current and former apprentices.”

Steel has always attached great importance to training. And the training shop which has been part of the site in Eichen since 1987 has provided many young people from the region with vocational training and prospects for the future. Between 25 and 30 apprentices begin their training at the technical center on September 1 every year. The program traditionally starts with an outing to allow trainers and apprentices to get to know each other. To help them work together in the future, the focus is on communication and cooperation. The “newbies” naturally also gain an overview of the thyssenkrupp Group and thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.

Industrial mechanics, process mechanics for steel forming, industrial electronics, mechatronics and office management are the most common apprenticeships in Eichen and Ferndorf. The apprenticeships take 3 to 3.5 years and can be shortened if good results are achieved. Contract training for companies from the region is another important part of the technical center’s work. It also offers examination preparation courses, guaranteeing ideal preparation for the extended final examination. Numerous cooperation partners have benefited from the services and experience of the technical center over the years.

“We are always breaking new ground due to the changing requirements of the market and technical advances – for example we are currently addressing the issue of digitization in training,” says Klose. “For a long time we focused mainly on apprenticeships, but flexibility is now called for. We offer internships on an ongoing basis: career orientation programs, internships for school students, voluntary internships and foundation courses for future students. Applications from people who want to retrain or have dropped out of university are also welcome. The first part-time apprenticeship models are also already running,” says the training manager. “In addition we help refugees – those with a certain language proficiency level are welcome to apply for our apprenticeships.” So the location is also playing its part in the Groupwide thyssenkrupp initiative “we.help” and the technical center is committed to inclusion. Young disabled people have already successfully completed apprenticeships here and been taken on at the company. Diversity and equal opportunities are particularly important for the trainer team.

The Siegerland technical center also collaborates with local schools, first and foremost the Clara Schumann comprehensive school, offering girls in particular the opportunity to try out industrial and technical professions as part of “Girl’s Day” or the STEM project. Young women in overalls have long been a common sight in the training shop. “We would like to get even more young women interested in industrial and technical professions in accordance with our slogan: “engineering.tomorrow.together,” says Klose. Free apprenticeship places for 2018 will shortly be advertised at http://karriere.thyssenkrupp-steel-europe.com/en/career.html.