The shortage of skilled workers is a growing challenge for many industries and companies. A lack of qualified employees can not only impact productivity, but also inhibit growth and innovation. Demographic change and the imminent retirement of the baby boomer generation are further exacerbating the situation.
In order to counter this trend and at the same time meet the increased needs of trainees, Bilfinger education GmbH, based in Heinsberg, is to promote uniform, high-quality vocational training in-house as the central company for Germany. In the future, trainees will be recruited centrally and given even more intensive and qualified support. Technical training will continue to take place at the respective German locations of the Bilfinger Group – currently at 56 operating sites throughout Germany.
Today, around 200 Bilfinger trainees from all over Germany met at the Bilfinger branch in Herne to kick off the major training initiative. The Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, congratulated them in a welcoming speech: “Congratulations! You have made an excellent decision! We don’t just need masters in Germany. We also need masters. And for those who not only want to swot up during their training, but also want to get involved themselves, dual vocational training is just the right thing. It combines theory and practice and stands for good career opportunities and a successful professional future. […] I congratulate all those responsible and the organizers on the opening of the new training center! It shows that you are serious about recruiting skilled workers and are prepared to go new ways to achieve this. And for good reason. Because no one knows better than you: today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s skilled workers.”
Thomas Schulz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bilfinger, said on the occasion of the on-site celebrations: “I am delighted that we are celebrating together today here in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s strongest economic state, at the Herne site. Training is a sustainable task and well-trained young people are the basis for future and lasting corporate success. Together with our apprentices, we want to tap further potential. Together we are working here on the blueprint for the global training of young people at Bilfinger. This is more than a training place and it is a matter close to my heart to make Bilfinger a ‘place to be’ for current and future trainees all over the world.”
In addition to the classic training profiles, the new concept also offers the possibility of uncomplicated lateral entry into other occupational fields within the company, increased support for young people with special needs and the exchange of best practices between trainers (‘train the trainer’).
The number of apprenticeships in the Group in Germany is to be successively increased from around 250 at present to 400. Thomas Schulz commented: “The decarbonization and digitalization of industrial plants require the highest level of technical expertise with a simultaneous focus on efficiency and sustainability. Bilfinger guarantees professional and high-quality training management in order to master this feat.”
Bilfinger trains more than 90 apprentices at 28 locations in North Rhine-Westphalia in the fields of plant and industrial mechanics, electronics and technical product design, among others. At the Herne site, for example, Bilfinger trains industrial insulators and scaffolders. In parallel, 18 prospective plant mechanics in Dortmund support the production of highly complex piping systems for the nuclear steam and water supply systems of the British power plant Hinkley Point C.
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