Why do two apprentices in training to becoming IT professionals swap their training companies? Broadening their horizon not only strengthen their personality and increases the appeal of a classical corporate apprenticeship, it’s also something the companies benefit from. In an unusual project, two companies from Germany’s Siegerland region swapped apprentices, at least for some time.
The programme has been an exciting and thrilling time for the two apprentices. Having left school only a while ago, the grown-up world welcomed them with new, serious tasks in the form of apprenticeships in IT system electronics. For three months, Daniel Berkemer from Guntermann & Drunck in Wilnsdorf, Germany, and Thilo Klein from QOSIT Information Technology GmbH in Siegen, Germany, swapped their training companies.
New companies, new products, new services, new workflows and, last but not least, new colleagues; they faced many challenges right after having found their way into work life.
According to a defined schedule, the apprentices spent their time in all departments relevant to their tasks. Prior to the exchange, the instructors of G&D and QOSIT worked out a schedule together. The goal was broaden horizons, share knowledge and use both to benefit the company.
The companies are similar yet different. While Guntermann & Drunck develop, manufacture and sell special IT devices called KVM products, QOSIT specialises in SME-oriented IT infrastructure and network solutions with comprehensive consulting and services. Complex challenges require the willingness to face them. With much dedication and commitment, both young men learned fast how to familiarise themselves with the work of the other.
How the project started
For Guntermann & Drunck, dual apprenticeships play a large role in training future specialists. With its portfolio, the medium-sized manufacturer of KVM products provides its services and devices to customers from small to worldwide operating companies.
"KVM products are niche products. Therefore, we need to train our specialists ourselves," said Guntermann & Drunck sales and marketing CEO Roland Ollek.
"Both the company and the employees benefit from this kind of training. The more knowledge young people gather, the broader their possibilities within the company. Already during their three years of training, our apprentices are encouraged to find the tasks they enjoy the most. That’s where they will be working once they finish their training."
Tim Otterbach, instructor at QOSIT, said: "In the IT sector, and especially in the Siegerland region, we are extremely affected by the shortage of skilled specialists.
"As an IT service provider, we place high demands on our employees, particularly with regards to their ‘soft skills’. Therefore, it is a logical step for us to train our future employees within our company. By participating in the apprentice exchange, our apprentices get to know another company and its workflow, which gives them the chance to broaden their horizons."
After a successful beta-test, Guntermann & Drunck and QOSIT will continue their cooperation in the future.
Image: (from left to right) Tim Otterbach: Instructor at QOSIT, Andreas Gerlach: Instructor at G&D, Thilo Klein: Apprentice at QOSIT, Florian Waffenschmidt: Apprentice at QOSIT. Photo: courtesy of G&D