Can you give us a brief account of your professional career so far?
My journey started 22 years ago, when I was hired by LÄPPLE to work as a supervisor in their bodyshell division. In 2006 I applied for a position as a training supervisor in the field of metalworking. The decision paid off, and I’ve been working here in the workshop for 11 years now.
What does a typical day look like in your profession?
No two days are alike, and there is no set schedule. We start work at quarter-past seven in the morning with basic training. I teach the youngsters, show them how the work is done here and monitor their progress. I teach them how to use the machines and give them training on welding. Every day here is varied.
What are the most important things you expect from apprentices?
Every trainee should show some ambition in their career path, and it has to be clear to them that this is the career they have chosen for themselves. A readiness to learn new skills and an ability to work in a team are also key attributes we expect from and value in our trainees.
How important is it to have hands-on training with machines?
A core part of our training programme is on the use of modern machinery. For example, my area of training is on the use of robots. This is really important, because machines are a fixed part of our day-to-day operations at LÄPPLE, and by the end of the training, the apprentices will know how to use them.
To what extent have the apprentices changed over the years?
Ten years ago there were more skilled workers amongst our trainees. Today most of our apprentices will first have to learn their respective trades, especially since manual work is no longer a major feature of home life. So we can no longer rely on knowledge of basic manual work, such as sawing or drilling, as we used to. But that's what we are here to pass on.
What have been the biggest changes since you started working at LÄPPLE?
In terms of technology, there has been some major progress made in the past ten years. Everything is digital these days, and hardly anything is done without a computer.
Of course, time doesn’t stand still, so I can’t afford to be complacent either. As a training supervisor, I regularly attend training courses myself, learning about the latest technologies on the market so that I can pass that knowledge on to my trainees. There’s always something new on the horizon.
What motivates you in your job?
What keeps me motivated is being able to advance the careers of young people by passing on my knowledge and skills. It gives me an incredible amount of joy to see how far they can get in just four weeks. It also makes me proud when someone approaches me after the training and explains that they now want to pursue the advanced training. And when women complete my training course as well, it’s incredibly affirming to see them succeed in their careers.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We are always incredibly proud when we see what our young apprentices can achieve when they undergo training with us. We see a few of them outside the factory as well. Because we are situated in a tri-city area, we run into former colleagues quite often, so then we get to see what they have achieved since and we’ll know that they have been set on the right path, which makes me extremely proud as well.