Stuttgart – Getting ready for the connected world: Bosch is seeking roughly 1,550 apprentices and dual-education students across Germany for 2017. Applications are already being accepted. At 1,550, the number of openings for occupational training programs matches the high levels seen in previous years. Applicants have a choice of over 30 different professions they can apply for online. Bosch is primarily seeking apprentices in the areas of mechatronics engineering, industrial mechanics, and electrical engineering for automation technology. Connected manufacturing is placing new demands on associates. For instance, associates need broader knowledge of manufacturing workflows due to the interconnected nature of processes. Bosch is already taking that into consideration in its training programs. “For connected manufacturing, we need highly qualified technicians in addition to university graduates. Industry 4.0 calls for Occupational Training 4.0, and that’s exactly what we offer our apprentices,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH.
Encouraging independent and interdisciplinary work
In Industry 4.0, machines and products are interconnected and continuously exchange data. That makes IT skills increasingly important. Technicians are also increasingly working on interdisciplinary projects that involve multiple areas of specialization. “Right from the start, we give our apprentices more autonomy and project responsibility. In multiple practical assignments, they familiarize themselves with manufacturing workflows and engage in cross-functional collaboration with other specialist units,” says Siegfried Czock, the head of occupational and continuing professional development in Germany. “At the end of their training, apprentices are able to shape digital connectivity. And they enhance their communication skills in the process. Both are key capabilities in a connected world.” In addition, roughly one in five apprentices in technical and industrial disciplines spends several weeks of their apprenticeship on a work assignment abroad. In the “junior company” training module, apprentices take command and are responsible for handling jobs at a plant.
“Occupational Training 4.0” in practice
Apprentices at Bosch in Homburg, Germany, for instance, already get insights into the manufacturing systems of the future in the first year of their apprenticeship. For example, they see smart workstations that adjust to associates’ individual skill levels and offer support accordingly. Second- and third-year apprentices get to apply their theoretical knowledge on the job so that they can deepen their experience with connected manufacturing. They might, for instance, modify a robot stand or upgrade a wireless communication channel to enable the exchange of information with a tablet computer. At the same time, they pass on their knowledge to associates in the plant. “The large amount of hands-on experience offered by the training program and the various different projects on which we get to work make Industry 4.0 a very tangible concept for us,” says Laura Kästner, a second-year apprentice specializing in electrical engineering for automation technology in Homburg. “We are being well prepared for the connected future.” Czock adds: “Our trainers on site, together with the specialist departments, continuously determine what skills are needed and adjust the training content and teaching methods as necessary.”
Connected industry also poses new challenges for trainers and teaching institutes when it comes to imparting the necessary skills. Bosch Rexroth’s Drive & Control Academy supports internal and external trainers as well as institutes of higher education with courses, training systems, and advanced media on the topic of Industry 4.0.
Degree opportunities and number of female apprentices on the rise
One in four apprenticeships offered at Bosch is part of a university degree program. Aside from programs that follow the traditional dual-education model, the company also offers cooperative programs that combine a university degree with an apprenticeship, such as an applied computer science degree combined with an apprenticeship as a certified IT system integration technician. Today, women make up just under one-sixth of all apprentices in technical and industrial disciplines. But Bosch hopes to get even more young women interested in technical careers by partnering with schools and for initiatives such as Girls’ Day or Technology Experience Days.
Occupational training offered for refugees
This year, the international supplier of technology and services is offering roughly 400 additional internships for refugees at about 30 occupational training departments. The aim is to prepare them for the labor market or an apprenticeship. The company prepares its trainers for this task by honing their intercultural skills. As Kübel explains, “From our experience training Spanish apprentices in Germany, we have found that, apart from learning the local language quickly, intercultural support is also key to successful integration.”
Check out openings online
Openings for apprentices and university students at Bosch for 2017 are posted on an online platform, over which anybody interested can apply. For more information on occupational training and educational opportunities at Bosch visit bosch.de/ausbildung. There, events are also listed at which anybody interested can visit Bosch’s occupational training departments.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”
The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.