The launch was a total success: the Apprenticeship Night in Lünen drew in more than 250 visitors for a look around the SIBA plant. And the 25-strong SIBA team had pulled out all the stops to ensure there was lots to see: the open-evening not only presented three of the key training skills at first hand along with a close-up of SIBA's four main product lines but also took visitors on a factory tour to showcase a company whose electrical fuse links are now in common use all over the world. “For us this first turnout was extremely valuable. We are optimistic that the event will help us find suitable candidates for apprenticeship training”, said Yvonne Nowak from the personnel department, who coordinated SIBA's involvement. “Our trainees and the whole team did a great job and we are very grateful for all their dedication.”
Factory tours (photo gallery)
Thanks to some excellent timing the team was able to pack eleven informative tours into the Apprenticeship Night – it all got under way at 18.15 hrs and the last tour set out at 23.15 hrs. Younger visitors, often accompanied by their parents, learnt how cutting-edge a well organised family-run company can be, as the tour negotiated its way through the computer-controlled high-bay warehouse before stopping to see the industrial robot station. These robots help to produce high-voltage fuse links. Emilia Schmoling and Lucas Koch were on hand to explain the different tasks that the machines carry out and this created a lot of interest from school students and parents alike.
Workstations: mechatronics engineering, toolmaking and industrial sales
The professional skills workstations also attracted a great deal of visitor interest. Mechatronics apprentice Jonas Nickeleit used computer simulation to show how programmable controllers operate, for many of the specialist machines needed for fuse production are manufactured or adapted by SIBA on site. One stand further on the SIBA trainees were able to clear up some of the misconceptions that many of the visitors had about toolmaking, for this has nothing to do with making hammers or pliers but rather involves producing inserts for presses that will then be used to manufacture stamped and deep-drawn parts. This includes the tiny copper caps that are later silver-plated and fitted on to the ends of the fuse links. The toolmakers stand also gave visitors an opportunity to try the operation out for themselves under the expert guidance of an apprentice. And what was even better, the finished article – namely a key fob produced from a stamping with an embossed SIBA logo – was theirs to take home.
But how can you convey the reality of working as a SIBA industrial clerk? The third workstation, which was set up in the admin block, also provided the organising team with an opportunity to come up with a fitting solution: trainees like Tanja Enders and Dennis Schulz helped visitors to use SIBA's in-house systems to simulate their way through a typical ordering procedure. For the school leavers this was their first taste of daily life as a sales agent.
An all-round package with info material
There was also every chance of encountering company owner and former senior director Bernd Schwegmann somewhere along the route. While Mr Schwegmann took a step back from his operational management role some time ago he could not resist being there in person for SIBA's very first Apprenticeship Night.
The fact that the SIBA-hosted event went down so well with all the young visitors was certainly due to much more than just the well stocked Candy Bar and the various catering delicacies on offer. The real success lay in the information-packed workstations set up by a company that has become a global market player in its field. How serious the company takes its commitment to training and apprenticeship is reflected in the fact that senior managers and many interested members of staff joined the organising team and all the trainees in attendance at the evening event.
The SIBA-hosted Apprenticeship Night also included representatives from the Lünen Job Centre, who were able to answer wide-ranging questions on the subject of professional training. SIBA also rounded off the evening by providing a job application checking service along with lots of information material for would-be employees.
Ready for the off! All the trainees, trainers and organising team members were there for Apprenticeship Night. (Top row, left to right: Pia Mohnke, Jan-Felix Tölle, Christopher Weigt, Lucas Koch, Elke Rudi, Jonas Nickeleit, Sven Gengenbach, Jan Hermann, Frank Moselewski, Yvonne Nowak, Lucien Behnisch, Ante Ivancic, Patrick Grohs, Burak Kocaman, Kevin Dickow, Till Bernemann. Bottom row: Dennis Schulz, Emilia Schmoling, Doring Grünig, Tanja Enders, Gianna Meier, Laura Schlabs, Stefan Pabich, Jakub Kazek, Martin Hülshorst)