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An interview with our instructor Goran Visnjic What to know about the apprenticeship Industrial Mechanic

Goran Visnjic trained as an industrial mechanic at Thyssen in the 1990s; he then received his Master Craftsman qualification as a mechanical engineer as well as his instructor certificate. Visnjic enjoys passing on his knowledge. He has worked at Coroplast Tape since 2021 and drives 68 km each day from Duisburg to Wuppertal. He doesn’t mind the commute. It’s worth it to have a great employer and a challenging work environment. In this interview, he tells us what he loves about his job, what it entails, and why Coroplast Tape is so successful.

Mr. Visnjic, what exactly does an industrial mechanic at Coroplast Tape do?

Our line of work is about maintaining machines and facilities, recognizing errors early on, and preventively keeping the equipment in good working condition. Basically, we are responsible for keeping the production facilities running. That’s why about 70 percent of our apprentices’ time is spent working directly on the machines; the rest of the time they produce and repair components. To do their work, the apprentices need skills such as turning, milling, grinding, or welding – in essence, the various manufacturing processes. Knowledge in the areas of hydraulics and pneumatics is also important. In addition to their training here at Coroplast, the apprentices also attend a vocational school and learn the necessary theories. The first year of the apprenticeship takes place at the BZI industrial vocational training center, where the apprentices receive basic training in metal working. This makes the three to three and a half years of the apprenticeship go by in a flash.

So, you are responsible for making sure that the production facilities stay running. That sounds like a lot of responsibility.

It not only sounds like it, it is in fact a lot of responsibility. The machines are supposed to come to a standstill as little as possible because a standstill can cost the company a lot. That’s why the machine efficiency must always be maintained and errors corrected as quickly and thoroughly as possible – that’s our task. And, yes, there is definitely a bit of pressure there. That pressure is necessary and sometimes it even has to hurt a bit, but that’s how you learn. I never leave my apprentices alone. I’m always there to help them make the right decisions. They learn very quickly what consequences can result from careless mistakes.

Goran Visnjic supervises 23 employees in the Maintenance department and is currently training three apprentices in the same apprenticeship year.

What can up-and-coming industrial mechanics expect at Coroplast Tape? What should they be prepared for?

When young people think of a career in industrial mechanics, they usually think of oil, dirt, and smoke. At Coroplast Tape, however, the exact opposite is true: In our production facilities, we place great value on cleanliness. When we work with the robots, for example, we even wear fabric gloves, so that we don’t contaminate anything. I often tell my apprentices: Coroplast Tape is rather unconventional and we often do things our own way, but, in doing so, we are very successful.

Normally, the production facilities operate according to a three-shift schedule, and the apprentices are only there during the day shift. But there are trial shifts, so that the upcoming industrial mechanics can get a realistic picture of what their work day will look like in the future.

I look after my apprentices in a very personal, individual fashion according to their needs, strengths, and weaknesses. We help them find their place in the company.

Goran Visnjic | Master Craftsman of the Mechanical Maintenance Department

The three most important tips for the apprenticeship: These are the qualities and skills you should have in order to make it onto the shortlist.

  • Applicants should enjoy meticulous technological work as well as making repairs. They should have a love of technical equipment and maybe even have created something technical with their Legos as kids.

  • Good math skills and spatial perception are helpful. For example, it’s often a good idea to get into the habit of using a small sketch to visualize things and processes. Quick comprehension as well as computer skills and familiarity with various software programs are also a plus.

  • Diligence and conscientiousness are very important. Many of our applicants come to us nowadays with good school grades. But, what is even more important, is that they are interested in and excited about the work. Then they have the necessary motivation and passion to make it through the apprenticeship.

For Goran Visnjic, good manners and respect for co-workers are essential for a good working atmosphere. He leads by example and believes that “you have to practice the things you expect from your team.”

What makes the apprenticeship at Coroplast Tape special?

Since we always aim to hire our apprentices upon completion, we invest a lot of time and money in them. We want our apprentices to be happy here, and we also want them to perform. They are thoroughly and systematically trained in their tasks. Our apprentices don’t simply tag along while we work. They are trained on an individual basis and they learn their trade in detail from the bottom up. Whether it’s with the robot technology, service, maintenance, or engineering – they are always right there with us and can try everything out for themselves. Coroplast Tape has the latest in equipment and the production facilities are now highly digitalized. Here, we choose not to focus on specialization but rather on providing our apprentices with the expertise to be flexible. And that makes the apprenticeship varied and interesting.

And, lastly, a personal question: Why do you love working as an instructor?

I am the youngest in a family of three kids. They are all engineers and I too always wanted to advance myself. When I do something, I always want to do it well. That’s why I enjoy the double responsibility of leading the department and serving as an instructor. I love being able to key into the individual needs of my apprentices, passing on my knowledge, and showing them new perspectives. It brings me great pleasure to see my apprentices develop from inexperienced youths to qualified experts. I want to inspire my apprentices and be a part of their development – and I want them to complete the program to the best of their abilities.

Mr. Visnjic, 41 years old, serves as the department head and, in his free time, enjoys playing chess and is a devoted fan of the Borussia Mönchengladbach soccer club. He also enjoys picking his four-year-old son up from daycare after finishing an early shift.

Thanks for talking with us, Mr. Visnjic!

Your contact person Careers – high school and university students as well as graduates

Do you have questions about a high school student internship, training, or a work-study program? Then contact us!
Lina Steffen
HR Specialist Apprentices, Students & Trainees

Your contact person Careers – high school and university students as well as graduates

Do you have questions about a high school student internship, training, or a work-study program? Then contact us!
Melanie Stamm
HR Specialist Apprentices, Students & Trainees
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