Vocational Training

Vocational training has always been a mainstay of personnel development at WACKER. Training takes place at the Burghausen, Nünchritz, Freiberg and Munich sites in Germany.

The principal facility is the Burghausen Vocational Training Center (BBiW) established by WACKER. This public foundation marked its 40th anniversary in 2009. The BBiW offers not only initial and advanced training to young people, but also courses for experienced staff and retraining measures. Well known beyond the local area, the center believes that its responsibility extends to providing training to non-WACKER staff. Thus, some 30 partner companies were able to send 56 trainees to start their professional career at the BBiW in 2010 (2009: 57).

BBiW courses cover 14 vocations and five work/study programs to bachelor degree level. The main focus is on the scientific and technical jobs typically encountered in the chemical, electrical and metalworking sectors. In 2010, 196 young people started their training at WACKER or the BBiW (2009: 201). Overall, trainee numbers rose from 665 in 2009 to 682 in 2010 – with 589 in scientific and technical disciplines and 98 in business administration. After graduating, trainees have a good chance of finding a job. Even in 2009 when the economic crisis hit, necessitating a comprehensive savings program, WACKER permanently hired the majority of suitable and interested trainees, as was the case in 2010. In 2009, a total of 160 graduates were hired; the 2010 figure was 133.

At 5.3 percent, both in 2009 and 2010, the ratio of trainees (i.e. number of trainees to Group employees in Germany) remained high. The BBiW’s vocational training is complemented by work/study programs to bachelor level: business IT, engineering management, business administration, electrical engineering and process engineering. These courses involve study at a vocational education institute alternating with quarterly practical training. WACKER collaborates here with the universities of Mannheim and Heidenheim, which specialize in work/study programs.

The BBiW’s high quality of training is evidenced by all the awards won by trainees. In 2009, for example, the trainee Florian Fuchs received the silver medal in the Industrial Control category at the WorldSkills Competition in Calgary (Canada). He had been German champion in this discipline twice before.

Best Graduation Result for WACKER Trainee Best Graduation Result for WACKER Trainee (photo)

More than a few trainees scored “very good” in their final exam, but only one of them gained 98 percent in Automation Electronics – Bernhard Metzl, a WACKER trainee from Burghausen. For this achievement, he was honored as a “National Champion Trainee” at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s December 2009 conference. The chamber’s final exams attracted over 300,000 participants, of whom 209, covering 206 different vocations, won the coveted champion trainee title. With three years of training under his belt, Bernhard Metzl consequently has not only a trophy and a certificate, but great prospects for a successful career at WACKER. After the award ceremony, Heinrich Schikaneder, the BBiW’s deputy head of electrical engineering training, said: “It’s always a great joy for us instructors to be able to work with youngsters like Bernhard Metzl. This kind of success is achieved whenever desire, ability, opportunities and challenges complement each other as they do in his case.

WACKER’s Nünchritz plant was once again honored as an excellent training company by the Dresden Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Among the Nünchritz trainees are Doreen Moldenhauer (chemical lab assistant) and Sten Morgenstern (chemical technician), both of whom received regional Champion Trainee awards in 2010.

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Number of new trainees







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Trainees/retrainees as a percentage of total
WACKER Germany employees