Press release #Industry 4.0

Digital education: apprentices as Industry 4.0 ambassadors

Digital education - Bosch apprentices as Industry 4.0 ambassadors

1,500 entry-level professionals wanted for digital transformation

  • Bosch apprentices impart technical and digital knowledge to school students
  • Share of women in STEM apprenticeships at Bosch twice as high as the national average
  • High demand for specialists: 1,500 apprenticeships in 2019
  • Christoph Kübel: “Only those who understand the connected world will be able to shape it”

Stuttgart, Germany – With curiosity, the eyes of the 18 apprentices follow the small autonomous transport robot as it makes its way across the production hall at the Bosch plant in Homburg. As part of their technical vocational training, they are taking on the role of “Industry 4.0 ambassadors.” To this end, one of the things the six young women and 12 young men are learning about is the use of new technologies in connected manufacturing. “Through projects like these, we aim to give our future specialists the means to play a role in shaping digital transformation at the company and in society,” says Christoph Kübel, director of industrial relations and member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH.

In 2019, Bosch will provide some 1,500 apprenticeships to young people. One in four apprenticeships involves a cooperative education program in a discipline such as electrical or mechanical engineering. Most of the apprenticeships the supplier of technology and services is looking to fill are in careers related to connected manufacturing, including electronics engineers for automation technology, mechatronics engineers, and IT specialists. “Knowledge about digitalization and connectivity is the basis for a successful career start,” Kübel stresses. “Only those who understand the connected world will be able to shape it.” Throughout Germany, more than 4,600 young women and men are currently completing occupational training at the company. At 16 percent, the share of female apprentices in STEM professions is nearly twice as high as the national average. “Mixed teams are more creative and generate better results. That’s why we place such importance on diversity in our workforce. One aspect of this is encouraging women to take up technical professions,” Kübel says.

We aim to give our future specialists the means to play a role in shaping digital transformation at the company and in society,

Christoph Kübel, director of industrial relations and member of the board of management at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Occupational training for the connected future

At more than 50 locations, Bosch is training the specialists of tomorrow. The company constantly adapts the material covered during training to the future needs of its locations, so that apprentices get the best possible preparation for a connected future. Along with new teaching concepts and subjects, such as e-learning, app programming, and robot configuration, educational partnerships play an important role. Together with trainers, apprentices develop fascinating and instructive projects to teach school students about the world of digitalization and connectivity. “As part of the educational partnerships, we start entrusting our apprentices with responsibility for themselves and for projects during occupational training,” says Siegfried Czock, head of occupational training and professional training policies at Bosch in Germany. “That way, apprentices learn to use their knowledge in a practical setting and share it with school students through specific project tasks. This interplay between gaining knowledge and passing it on is a very important skill – for today and tomorrow.” Throughout Germany, more than 500 Bosch apprentices are already involved in over 300 educational partnerships that take place as part of the Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland (Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany) initiative, of which Bosch is a founding member.

Apprentices offer school students insights into connected industry

As Industry 4.0 ambassadors, the young apprentices in Homburg, with the support of their trainers, teach foundational digital knowledge at eight partner schools in the city, giving school students a practical look at various careers. Patrizia Sommer, an apprentice who is training to be an electronics engineer for automation technology and is an Industry 4.0 ambassador, is excited about her new role: “I look forward to showing students all the things you can do with Industry 4.0. Often, students don’t even know what kind of exciting tasks are associated with careers such as electronics engineering.”

School students program an automated vehicle

As part of another educational partnership, apprentices at the engineering location in Schwieberdingen have designed a self-driving model car that is capable of identifying obstacles and avoiding them with the help of an infrared sensor. The necessary programming is done using the Calliope microcontroller. The apprentices are working with seventh graders to assemble and program the car. “At first, the students usually can’t imagine how automated driving works. After the project, they’re excited about technology, just like I was back then,” says Romy-Maria Bahmer, who is in her second year of training to become a mechatronics engineer.

Apply now: open apprenticeships for 2019

Open apprenticeships and positions for university students at Bosch for 2019 are being advertised online. Information on apprenticeships and positions for university students is available at The website also lists the dates when potential applicants can get to know the vocational training departments at Bosch personally.

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 421,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2022). The company generated sales of 88.2 billion euros in 2022. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. 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 Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 470 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. With its more than 400 locations worldwide, the Bosch Group has been carbon neutral since the first quarter of 2020. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 136 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 85,500 associates in research and development, of which nearly 44,000 are software engineers.

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 upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-four percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The remaining shares are held by Robert Bosch GmbH and by a corporation owned by the Bosch family. 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.

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