The competition takes place annually, and the apprentices of the injection moulding machine manufacturer headquartered in Schwertberg regularly rank among the best participants. Engel was represented this year by 37 apprentices, and besides the two podium placings, the company was very pleased with their above-average overall results. Almost half of the Engel participants were awarded the mark of "very good". In the industry category, a total of 835 young men and women from 126 companies faced the scrutiny of a panel of experts.
The best in each class will travel to Asia"We are very proud of our young talents," says a delighted Johannes Höflinger, training manager at Engel Austria. "Once again, the success of our apprentices confirms the quality of our training concept." The Engel instructors devote a great deal of time to identifying the strengths and talents of trainees and promoting them individually. Training courses also offer content not available in all companies. From the outset, Engel apprentices gain insights into adjacent departments; they learn how to take an interdisciplinary approach and work as part of international teams. The two best apprentices in each class have the privilege of travelling to Asia and working for three months either in the Engel plant in Shanghai or in Korea.
Another motivator is the fact that machine components produced by apprentices are used in machine assembly for ongoing production. "Integration into the production network is something we will continue to encourage in future," says Höflinger. The expansion of the Schwertberg headquarters also involves refurbishing the apprentice workshop and modernising the machinery for the benefit of trainees. "With lots of daylight, ergonomic workplaces and an open atmosphere, we want to provide optimal working conditions from the first day on," says Höflinger. The new apprentice workshop will be finished in time for the start of the new school year in September.
In-house training secures competitivenessIn Austria, Engel admits 45 to 50 apprentices to the programme each year and trains them in the subjects of mechatronics, plastics technology, material engineering, design, metalworking technology (mechanical engineering and machining technology), operating logistics and information technology. The apprentice workshop at the company headquarters, which has received national awards, serves as a model for the worldwide training programme of the Engel Group. Further training centres are found in Germany at its automation solution plant in Hagen, at its large-scale machine plant in Shanghai, and at its component plant in Kaplice in the Czech Republic.
"With a retention rate of 98 percent, the in-house professional training is an important factor in terms of securing skilled workers," says Johannes Höflinger. "At the same time, it strengthens our competitiveness worldwide."