10. September 2014 | Job + Career

Heideldruck: 100 new apprentices

For António José Pinheiro Azevedo and Renato Filipe Torres Carvalho, 1 September 2014 was a very special day. It was the start of their apprenticeships to become a print media technologist and, respectively, a mechatronic technician. The two young Portuguese men are from Amarante, which is twinned with Wiesloch, the location of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG's Wiesloch-Walldorf plant in Southern Germany.

Supporting Portuguese apprentices

This is the company's way of supporting a City of Wiesloch project that invites young people from high-unemployment northern Portugal to come to the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region, offering them formal apprenticeships. "It was only natural for us - as the city's largest employer - to join this project," explains Werner Bader, the group's apprenticeship program manager. Pinheiro Azevedo and Torres Carvalho have already been in Wiesloch since mid-June. They are participating in an internship at the plant two days a week, and on three days, they attend an intensive German language course. In order to facilitate their start in their new environment, the manufacturer is providing them with native speakers of Portuguese as mentors.

Training rate remains high

In total, 100 young people begun their careers with training in 15 different occupations and a variety of courses of study on 1 September at six German sites. Heidelberg and Wiesloch-Walldorf will have 66 new apprentices. Traditionally, the focus has been on technology, business, and media. Despite the ingoing sea changes in the company, the training rate has remained very high, at 6%. Across all age cohorts, the group has about 400 apprentices, with 250 of them concentrated in Wiesloch-Walldorf and Heidelberg.

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