March 23, 2012

The great Lehrling-practice of Germany

Some time ago I had the opportunity to meet customers from a big-sized German precast element factory. The people which I met were fairly young, in their early 30s, but were in key positions in that company. Because of knowing the titles prior our meeting I had expected to meet a couple of older fellows, however, it was a pleasant surprise to see persons that had been given responsibility in such a young age.
After some discussions with them I understood clearly why they had the tasks they had. Both of them had already more than 10 years of experience within this company and were extremely committed to the values of the company, had worked in several positions already and seemed to know all the functions of this big company.
Why did they have such an experience and such commitment? Because they had joined the company already during their studies and had been "forced" to work in all departments. The German Lehrling-system, where students are partly working, partly studying a for certain amount of time, had been really working for the benefit for this company.
Peikko is working in the field of construction, which is often not the most attractive field of business for people.  To get committed and experienced persons is many times the bottleneck to grow. We do have many students working in this way in our Peikko Deutschland GmbH ourselves, again, things have to be done also in other countries towards this direction.
I must say the meetings with customers are always good, but this one was a very special one – made me really to learn and think myself.