Two professional qualifications at once? #ChallengeAccepted
Heike Meurers is a very experienced vocational trainer. She has been working at thyssenkrupp Materials Services in Essen for over 20 years, where she looks after young professionals. She is mainly responsible for apprentices and dual students in the commercial apprenticeship and study programs. As the first point of contact, she is available to provide advice and assistance to all and has a clear focus on the quality of thyssenkrupp´s training.
What makes apprenticeships at thyssenkrupp so interesting?
The secret of an attractive apprenticeship is the integration of apprentices into existing work processes. Right from the start, we involve our apprentices in everyday work as well as in real projects. None of our colleagues has to brew coffee or check long excel-lists. The apprentices are valuable employees for us, who receive meaningful tasks and projects as work assignments. From what I can see: The young people feel valued, are motivated and enjoy their work.
What is your advice to new apprentices when they start their apprenticeship?
Learn to trust themselves. To form their own opinion and to get involved in the apprenticeship assignments.
What has your professional career looked like?
I am a qualified industrial clerk. Then I studied business administration with a focus on human resources and training, and at the same time passed the instructor aptitude test.
What do you like about training young people?
I have made my own experiences during my apprenticeship back then and that vocational trainers can do a lot of things wrong. For me, the most important thing for a good vocational trainer is to always have an open ear and to make time for the young people. With beginning the apprenticeship their whole life changes and therefore one has to be sensitive to this phase and support it. One reason why I offer fixed consultation hours.
For example, what is special about commercial apprenticeships at thyssenkrupp Materials Services?
We offer 2 or 3 degrees in one, so to speak. In addition to a degree in a traditional commercial apprenticeship and a Bachelor of Arts degree, our apprentices can also gain a foreign language correspondent degree, which is something not many companies offer.
And what makes apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp so valuable for an apprentice?
Clearly the comprehensive content of our training in the departments and in the company. In addition, further development at thyssenkrupp Materials Services is a matter of course, as is the professional support we provide for new apprentices when they join the company – our onboarding. In addition to PC training, merchandise knowledge classes and general exam preparation courses, apprentices receive training in professional self-presentation before the final oral exam. And another unique selling point of our training: We offer selected apprentices the opportunity to spend part of their apprenticeship abroad.
Where can school leavers obtain information about apprenticeships at thyssenkrupp?
In addition to our own company website, we also advertise apprenticeships on typical platforms such as stepstone.de and ausbildung.de. Apart from this we take part in the speed dating of the chambers of industry and commerce, provide information in local schools and are part of the “Ausbildungsoffensive Ruhr”.
How has the Corona crisis affected training? What measures were taken?
With the lockdown, we immediately started home office with our trainees as far as possible. Since almost all of them are equipped with a laptop, it was no problem to provide them with daily tasks from the departments. I also kept in regular contact with everyone by e-mail, telephone and by Microsoft teams and asked them how they were doing.
How important are the school grades of the applicants to you?
In the commercial professions, school grades are a selection criterion, but personal appearance also plays a major role. The decisive factor is the commitment of the applicants. If their performance is good and we have a personal fit, there is usually nothing standing in the way of their takeover. After all, we invest a lot of money and time in training and do not want to leave our great young professionals to other companies.
Who can apply to thyssenkrupp?
Everyone is welcome. As part of our we.help initiative, we also call on people with disabilities and refugees to apply to us.
thyssenkrupp in one word?