For many decades Heimbach has placed great importance on vocational training. This long-term commitment has not made us complacent and set in our ways in terms of our training methods. On the contrary – in the course of the years new recognised qualifications have been added to our portfolio and we also offer a sandwich-style university course now. On the trade and technical side we train machine and plant operators with a focus on textile technology, product auditors textile, and technical fabricators; on the business side we provide apprenticeships to become general business professionals or IT specialists with a focus on application development or systems integration. The above mentioned university course is offered for the attainment of a vocational qualification as Product Auditor Textile in cooperation with the University of Niederrhein and is called “Textile Technologies”.
Essentially the process starts with an application for a training place. In our application process we do not only take into account the applicants’ grade average. Everybody who fulfills the job requirements is invited for a recruitment test, independent of their grades. Here a minimum score must be attained. After review and assessment of the documents an interview with the potential trainees is set up. If the “gut feeling” of our training experts matches the total package a joint apprenticeship programme is within reach. We forego long selection processes involving a variety of tests. We want to train people who are a good fit for us; therefore personal impressions count for more than test results.
We find our applicants through targeted marketing for our apprenticeships. We entertain KURS partnerships with municipal schools and hold application training sessions with the students. Our own apprentices are “training ambassadors”; they report in the schools on their experiences – at eye level, so to speak. We also support initiatives of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, such as KAoA (Kein Anschluss ohne Abschluss – translated as no access without qualifications). Those who are not sure yet about their vocational choice can opt for an internship to familiarise themselves with the various training opportunities. We have also been taking part in the local apprenticeship fair for years: Besides our two training managers Heimbach’s apprentices are there to report on their own daily work experience. In our video for apprentices the protagonists talk about why they chose to join Heimbach.
In addition to vocational college our apprentices and the above mentioned “sandwich” university students receive in-house tuition to prepare them for their final exams. Furthermore our budding business professionals complete a course in “Business English”, which includes both a written and oral exam held by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Aachen.
We offer a variety of health-related programmes, which attract apprentices as well, such as subsidised fitness studio membership or the many company sporting activities.
Those who successfully complete vocational training at Heimbach have many opportunities for continued professional training: towards certified business administrator, industry foreman, certified textile technician or a specialisation in individual professional areas. Thus we train our future employees better than most other companies. Those who demonstrate a particular interest in operating machines and plants have the opportunity to pursue a further one year course as a Production Technician following the two year apprenticeship, in order to attain a higher qualification. Today some of our previous apprentices manage departments or even production.
So it is not without reason that Heimbach took first place in a survey of Germany’s best companies for vocational training carried out by “Focus Money” magazine in 2017.