Inclusion through vocational training: Mayor Peter Tschentscher commends VTG’s RailTrain training program
Hamburg, 22. September 2020
Fourth set of trainees up and running: Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, today visited the headquarters of VTG AG in Hamburg to welcome the latest intake of trainees to the VTG RailTrain program. “Hamburg is a city that offers good vocational training. Young people here have excellent prospects to successfully complete their training and engage in vocational activity,” said Mayor Tschentscher, the project’s patron. “One example is VTG’s RailTrain program. Rail logistics is a forward-looking industry that plays an important part in making freight transport more efficient and more climate-friendly. Hamburg-based VTG AG is one of the leading rail logistics players in Europe, a company that is instrumental in developing innovative technologies in the industry. I wish all the new trainees a successful start to their vocational future – and I wish Mr. Jallah every success on the vocational master’s course.” Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG, also had a few words to say: “We are proud to welcome what is now our fourth yearly intake of RailTrain trainees. Having been launched at the start of 2017, the program is now firmly established both within our company and in Hamburg as a whole. It is a genuinely successful model through which we make an active contribution to advancing the cause of young people in our city.” This year’s crop of newcomers includes two young women who are now starting their apprenticeships as construction mechanics.
Abdulai Jallah – An impressive trajectory
VTG RailTrain targets young people who, for a variety of reasons, have so far been unable to gain a foothold on the regular labor market. A glance at the résumés and backgrounds of the graduates to date indeed reveals a singularly broad spectrum. One such graduate is Abdulai Jallah who, after fleeing from Liberia, ended up in Germany in 2013 by a roundabout route. Jallah began his VTG RailTrain apprenticeship in 2017, perfected his command of the German language and – while still training as a construction mechanic – became the father of a little girl. His outstanding classroom performance and schoolwork enabled him to shorten his training phase before launching his career in mobile service at VTG in Hamburg. Jallah knows exactly what he wants to do in the future: “I want to gain further qualifications,” he says. “My main goal is to become a master of my trade.” VTG AG plans to help him along the way: Accompanied by Mayor Tschentscher, Dr. Heiko Fischer presented him with the guarantee of a scholarship to realize this dream. As he completes his master’s training, VTG AG will release him for his ongoing education and cover all his costs.
VTG RailTrain – An inclusive training program
In 2017, Hamburg-based VTG – Europe’s leading wagon hire and rail logistics company – launched a training program designed for young people with special educational needs. Since then, every year has seen as many as ten local youngsters start this sandwich course that will ultimately qualify them as construction mechanics. The course primarily addresses young people with a basic certificate of secondary education who are interested in a technical apprenticeship. During the three-and-a-half-year training program, whose practical phases are hosted by a dedicated teaching workshop on the premises of Blohm + Voss, VTG provides individual support and supervision to each youngster. The teaching of practical skills and abilities is flanked by efforts to boost the apprentices’ language, social and general educational skills. This approach enables the youngsters to overcome developmental obstacles together, but also to build on their individual strengths.