• VIP Polymers

Refugees among new apprentice intake 02 Nov 2017

Herrenknecht News Release

Each year Herrenknecht offers up to 180 vocational training apprenticeships in its Schwanau factory in Germany to meet the growing demand for engineers and technicians. The current intake of 56 dual training system apprentices includes five refugees.

New apprenticeship intake for 2017 including five refugees
New apprenticeship intake for 2017 including five refugees

For those immigrants from Syria, Gambia and Guinea, the apprenticeships will provide both a challenge and an opportunity for integration.

At the wish of the Herrenknecht Board of Management, the young refugees came to Schwanau via the Municipal Employment Program, the government employment agency, refugee aid and social workers at the vocational school in Lahr. All of them speak a little German already, but additional tuition will help them improve their language skills.

Wasef Katmawi, aged 25, wants to become an IT specialist and 19-year-old Mohammed Hoto is training as a specialist in metal technology. In their homelands the young men often had incomplete schooling which led to limited employment opportunities. "I am very happy about the training at Herrenknecht and hope to be taken on permanently when I finish, and later work on international projects around the world," said Katmawi.

Apprentices have access to state-of-the-art machinery in the training workshop
Apprentices have access to state-of-the-art machinery in the training workshop
A young team of trainers provides advice and practical support
A young team of trainers provides advice and practical support

"We provide all our apprentices with individual support," said Klaus Himmelsbach, Herrenknecht Head of Training. In the training workshop a state-of-the-art machine park is at their disposal, which they can use after making practice workpieces to work on projects for actual production.

With in-house lessons in English, professional and business studies, the apprentices are prepared for everyday working life in an international company. "If necessary, we also offer extra tuition for the challenges at the vocational school," said Himmelsbach. An annual bonus for particularly good performance creates additional incentives.

"Young people are our future. We need skilled workers, because what use is the highest level of engineering design if no one can actually construct and maintain it,” said Martin Herrenknecht, company founder. “We are therefore committed to supporting those who want to work with us to build the best tunnel boring machines in the world."

Last year, on completing his apprenticeship, Tobias Robben was honoured as the best structural mechanic in Germany and Herrenknecht apprentices are regularly awarded prizes at the graduation ceremonies of vocational schools and universities. In April 2017 the company was named best German training company in the plant and mechanical engineering sector by Focus Money magazine.


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