On September 1, the new apprentices started training to become machinists, industrial mechanics, mechatronics technicians, warehouse logistics technicians, industrial administrators, and electronics technicians specializing in industrial systems. Seven students were also excited to start their work-study degree programs in mechanical engineering, information systems, and computer science. During their orientation week, the new recruits are given their first taste of their new working environment and get to know each other better.
New talents welcomed to Knorr-Bremse in Berlin, Munich, Aldersbach, and Düsseldorf
'We provide our new apprentices with intensive support during their first few weeks, to get them ready for this special part of their lives. This includes telling them how their training is structured, setting them up with protective equipment, giving them a close-up tour of the plant, briefing them on occupational health and safety, and giving them some basic training,' says Manuel Zimmermann, Head of Training in Berlin. Just like last year, eleven young people are starting their vocational training at Knorr-Bremse's Berlin plant in 2021: six machinists (including one young woman), two industrial mechanics, two mechatronics technicians, and one warehouse logistics specialist (another young woman). Their future career prospects within the company are very good: In 2021, all apprentices who completed their training in Berlin were offered permanent positions with Knorr-Bremse.
'Throughout the year, we take part in trade fairs, information events, and similar initiatives for high-school students to get young people excited about our apprenticeship programs. The high quality of our vocational training and our impressive career prospects have proven very popular. We also make a point of encouraging young women to pursue technical careers,' explains Florence Bröcheler, Head of Training in Munich, where six apprentices and seven students on work-study degree courses were welcomed this week. Over the next three years, they will be trained as mechatronics technicians and industrial administrators, or work toward bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering, information systems, and computer science. 'We start off the first week with an orientation program, so everybody can get to know each other - this makes it easier to transition from the classroom to the working world. A first-aid class, computer training, and a scavenger hunt around the site also help the apprentices adjust to their new jobs,' adds Bröcheler.
Award-winning apprenticeship programs
In Aldersbach in the German state of Bavaria, 15 young people, including six women, are looking forward to starting their new careers: five machinists, three electronics technicians specializing in industrial systems, three mechatronics technicians, and two warehouse logistics specialists. One of the apprentice machinists has also chosen to pursue a work-study degree in mechanical engineering. The outstanding quality of Knorr-Bremse's vocational training programs has paid off: A total of 27 apprentices successfully completed the IHK (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) qualification this year. Four of them were also the proud recipients of top scores and special honors. 'We offered all of them employment options at Knorr-Bremse after their apprenticeships, and we want to give the new cohort this same opportunity. We look forward to teaching this new group of young people over the next three years. As soon as the pandemic allows, we plan to hold our traditional 'get-to-know-you' day, involving lots of recreational activities and great food,' says Andreas Schinhärl, Head of Training in Aldersbach.
Kiepe Electric, a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse located in Düsseldorf, welcomed two industrial administrators and one electronics technician specializing in industrial systems. 'The first few days are always really exciting for our new apprentices. First, we introduce them to their key contacts. We also answer any questions they may still have, discuss the vocational training process, and get to know each other better over team lunches. We've also found that it makes good sense for them to build relationships with the more experienced apprentices who started the previous year,' says Thomas Thiede, Head of HR in Düsseldorf. 'Our apprentices enjoy all the advantages of a training program in a medium-sized company coupled with the career opportunities offered by a global corporation. That's what makes the apprenticeship program at Kiepe Electric particularly attractive.'
Knorr-Bremse continues to recruit new talent despite pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many companies with exceptional challenges over the past 18 months. Because vocational schools were closed, the instructors at Knorr-Bremse had to cover more theory in their classes. Another change was the fact that popular vocational training fairs and career information events in schools moved online. This allowed Knorr-Bremse to make personal contact with many school-leavers and directly answer their questions in online video chats. Munich also gave applicants the option of taking virtual tours of the Knorr-Bremse grounds, to give them a first impression of the site. During the pandemic, Knorr-Bremse Munich took part in 'Girls Day' and the 'Girls for Technology Camp', arranging interesting virtual experiments. And apart from information events and career fairs, students have plenty of opportunities to get to know the company better by taking part in internships.
Knorr-Bremse accepts applications for apprenticeships throughout the year. Interested candidates who have already received their year-end report card can apply on the Knorr-Bremse careers site.