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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.