As of the annual reporting date (March 31, 2019), 1,310 apprentices were being trained in the voestalpine Group in about 50 skilled trades, the majority (61.5%) at locations in Austria. A total of 21.1% of apprentices were being trained in Germany under the dual system. Because apprenticeships are based on defined needs, almost all of the apprentices who successfully complete their training are offered full time positions. voestalpine clearly believes that it has the duty to invest in the training of young, skilled workers. In addition to excellent professional training, the focus also is on developing personal and social skills. The Group currently invests more than EUR 70,000 in the training of a single apprentice.
Training at voestalpine: Tradition with a bright future
Training is a tradition at voestalpine. Under its “expect and encourage” maxim, the Group offers ideal conditions for people to give their best and have access to secure careers in a globally renowned company. So far, more than 25,000 young women and men have been trained as skilled employees at some 40 locations in Austria and Germany. Many of them achieved excellent results in regional and international competitions for apprentices and were honored as champions at the country, European, and world level.
But awards or titles are generally not foregrounded. What is important to voestalpine, instead, is that its current 1,310 apprentices believe that the company offers them good prospects for the future. Extraordinarily high final apprenticeship exam pass rates of 98.7% in Austria and Germany—of the Austrian graduates, 70% even did so with “good” or “excellent” grades—show that voestalpine’s approach to apprenticeships is the right way to go. This applies also and in particular to young women, who are increasingly opting for technical jobs in the voestalpine Group. At the close of the business year 2018/19, women accounted for 13.4% of all apprenticeships in technical professions. Our apprentices have shown that the categorization of jobs as “typically” male or female no longer applies. At the 2018 apprenticeship competition in Upper Austria, for instance, female cutting machine operators of voestalpine won first and second place.
Digitalization is also becoming an ever more important issue in the training of apprentices. Digitalization projects and a new lab for electrical and automation technology in Kapfenberg, Austria, serve to enhance the company’s ability to impart digital skills. For example, future skilled workers are thus being trained for the world’s most advanced special steel plant that is being built in Kapfenberg and will be commissioned in 2021.
voestalpine trainers meeting & group apprentice day
Apprentices are successful also thanks to motivated trainers. They enrich the curriculum far beyond statutory requirements. Trainers shared their real-life experiences at the first voestalpine Trainers Meeting in March 2019. Here too the focus was on how to prepare and teach course content related to Industry 4.0.
Every year, the Group Apprentice Day gives apprentices an opportunity to learn from each other. What was already the sixth Apprentice Day was held in Linz, Austria, in 2018. A total of 350 apprentices from 40 locations in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria attended the event and were given the opportunity to participate in shaping it: by talking to the Management Board of voestalpine AG; in connection with the voestalpine quiz; during a tour of the plant; and in a competition for ideas.