But up and coming talent is already given great attention at Jacobs Maschinenbau today. Training skilled workers has been writ large at the specialists for seed processing and agricultural machinery in Halle for 20 years.
More than 40 young people have already left the company as qualified metal constructors. But as at many companies in Saxony-Anhalt the increasing skills shortage can already be clearly felt. In summer 2011 alone, 11,750 secondary school pupils will leave school. 16,000 vacant apprenticeship positions will be open to them. In addition, the demand for engineers and skilled workers is continually growing in the State, especially in the metal construction and electrical sector. “To overcome this shortage more than two thirds of companies are relying on in-house apprenticeships. More than every second company trains its skilled workers itself,” Stefan Möslein, Head of Public Relations at the Halle-Dessau Chamber of Commerce remarks knowingly. But at trade enterprises in Saxony Anhalt the motto is also: “Anyone who doesn’t train now is closing their eyes to the future.” Managing Director Thomas Jacobs, who runs the family company together with brother Christoph and father Klaus can only confirm this. “This skills shortage can only be met with the targeted training of apprentices.”
And the company urgently needs trained skilled workers. Because Jacobs assembly teams are not only on the road in Germany but also in Poland, Hungary, Austria and Italy. “We’ve just finished a plant that was shipped to Chile by container,” explains Thomas Jacobs. “A plant for grass seed processing even went to China. But it was assembled locally by the client themselves,” he grinned. “The assembly expenditure would have been too high.”
The path from the field into the seed packet, whether for grass seeds, flower seeds or medicinal herbs, is hardly conceivable without a “Jacobs plant”. One tonne of seeds can be cleaned and packed in an hour. “Our plants are currently in demand in farmer’s enterprises that specialise in organic farming. Thus we don’t merely train, every apprentice has also got very good chances to be taken on by us.”
René Boeck is one of them. He began as an intern at Jacobs, learned metal construction, ended the apprenticeship as the best apprentice in his year and has been a permanent member of staff since March. But which pre-conditions do young people have to bring with them? “Good marks in mathematics, German and natural science subjects. But we also place great weight on good behaviour, general knowledge and interpersonal skills. After all, our fitters have direct contact with our customers on site. Therefore English knowledge is also an advantage,” explained senior boss Klaus Jacobs. “Because we’ve just assembled a coffee processing plant in Douala, in Cameroon.”
But they don’t just train for their own needs at the Leipziger Chaussee in Halle. In close cooperation with the TU Ilmenau, the University of Magdeburg, the Hochschule Anhalt in Bernburg-Strenzfeld and the Hochschule Merseburg higher education institutions, prospective engineers are given the opportunity to complete an internship.
But cooperation with the vocational education institution Dr. P. Rahn & Partner Schulen is particularly close. “Young people who do a cross company apprenticeship there get the opportunity to complete the practical part of their apprenticeship with us,” said Thomas Jacobs. “This is primarily about enthusing young people for the profession.” So it’s no wonder that former apprentices qualify as master craftsmen or even study metal construction after their apprenticeship, as Tomas Jacobs did himself. He also studied mechanical engineering. That young people are not only well trained but also feel comfortable in the training company is proved by good contact after the apprenticeship. “Our former apprentices still look in on us again and again today.”
Author: Dagmar Perschke
Leipziger Chaussee 91-95
Telephone: 0345/ 560 29 66