Across technical industries like ours, skilled workers are in short supply. To make sure we can keep delivering for our customers, we need a steady stream of new employees with technical skills and enthusiasm for the challenging projects we tackle every day. One way we are making this happen is through our new apprenticeship program at IDE, with the support of our colleague Alexander Preuß.
a way to move forward
Before Alex joined IDE 1.5 years ago, he worked for a very small German company specialized in making audio systems for vehicles like cars and boats. While he did enjoy it, after a few years he realized that he had no opportunities to grow there. “I needed to find a way to move forward, and a vacancy I saw at IDE seemed like a great opportunity for me,” he says.
Alex started working at IDE in production, building their systems and products, but after a year he was promoted to testing and qualifying the systems to make sure everything works correctly and at the quality level the customer demands. “I like it a lot,” he says. “The people are great and the products are fascinating! Unique and quite technical and challenging to produce.”
Recently, Alex was invited to take on a new challenge: helping IDE set up their new apprenticeship program. He gladly accepted. “It seemed like a great way to make a step in my career, do a good thing for the company, and learn some new skills,” he says. He did have to complete a training course to get the necessary qualification, but IDE helped make it happen.
building something from scratch
Now that that’s done, Alex is busy building up the program with the help of a colleague. The plan is to bring in young people interested in mechanical subjects and have them work in every production area in IDE over the course of three years. “This will allow us to teach trainees everything we do, find their potential, see where they fit best, and ultimately get very qualified workers for IDE,” he says.
Since the program is brand new, they are building it from scratch. “There are guidelines to follow for the overall training, but for IDE-specific stuff we have to develop everything ourselves,” Alex explains. “We not only need to teach the trainees about the work we do, but also how to behave in a company since they are teenagers with no work experience.”
In the process Alex is learning a lot. “During my training they talked about different ways to teach people, for example if they are visual learners or if they learn best when they do it themselves,” he explains. “That was completely new for me. It will be our job to find out what type of learner each trainee is and how to teach them and support them in the best way possible.”
finding one’s place
Being in a position to guide others is not something Alex expected when he joined. “Coming from a very small company, I was a bit concerned about joining a bigger company,” he explains. “I was worried that I might be just a number, but it was actually easy to find myself a spot here. Communication with my managers and colleagues is very good and I’m already getting the chance to find ways to make things better and develop myself. It’s great to see that I can make an impact here.”
He’s also starting to see the future differently. “When I joined IDE I was all into the technical stuff,” Alex says. “But working here is making me realize that guiding people and being a leader is something I’m interested in. I want to explore this direction for my career to see if it’s a fit, and the trainee program is a great place to start!”