“From September 2018, we will be taking on additional apprentices for the large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin and the production plant for robots and automation systems in Dietach”, says Werner Wurm, head of the global apprentice training programme at Engel. “Many from this area are interested in apprenticeships, but did not apply due to the long travelling distance to Schwertberg. That is why we are taking a new approach." In order to offer interested young people from the Steyr and St. Valentin area something appropriate, the Dietach and St. Valentin locations are going to have new training workshops and their own training team. The apprentice workshop at the headquarters in Schwertberg, which was awarded a certificate of excellence from the government, is used as a model. It is one of the most advanced in the country and is characterised by state-of-the-art machines, ergonomic work places and plenty of daylight.
In autumn, a total of around 60 new apprentices will begin their technical training at Engel Austria. For many years now, the company has been training young men and women in Austria to become professionals - there are currently 180 apprentices. Engel also provides professional training abroad to ensure a sufficient supply of skilled workers. At its plants in China, Czech Republic and Germany, apprentices are trained according to the Austrian model.
Professional training and further education are of great importance to the global market leader. Internationality already plays a role during the apprenticeship: the apprentices get an insight into adjoining departments and work in international teams at an early stage. The two best apprentices in each class have the privilege of spending three months at the production plant in Shanghai and gain valuable experience there. The apprentices at Engel are involved in ongoing production from the very beginning. In the first year of their apprenticeship, they are already manufacturing technical components and functional elements which are installed in the injection moulding machines.
Engel’s goal is to give the apprentices a permanent job after they have successfully completed their professional training. “With a retention rate of 98 percent, the in-house professional training is an important factor in terms of securing skilled workers,” says Johannes Höflinger, who is responsible for apprentice training at the Austrian plants and also encourages young women to apply for an apprenticeship at Engel. Overall, more and more women are opting for a technical profession due to the great career prospects. In addition, the salary opportunities in the mechanical engineering industry are better than in classic female professions. The family-run business offers great promotion and career prospects and also the possibility of gaining international work experience.
In order to prepare young men and women even more specifically for their future jobs, Engel has launched the “career through apprenticeships” project. In their second year, apprentices may apply to a particular department of the company by means of a covering letter. “We set out the development possibilities in the various divisions and then specifically tailor the content of third year training to the plans our young people have”, says Höflinger.
Apprentices can be trained in eight technical professions at Engel. One main focus is on mechatronics engineers and machining technicians. In the future, St. Valentin will be the skill centre for the machining technician training. At the plant in Dietach, the main focus is on the subjects of mechatronics and robotics. Apprenticeships in plastics engineering, mechanical engineering, material engineering, operating logistics, construction and IT are also offered.