Apprenticeship with a future: Successful career launch for every one of VTG RailTrain’s first intake
Hamburg, 03. March 2021
Cause for celebration: All seven trainees who made up the first intake for VTG’s inclusive RailTrain apprenticeship program in 2017 have passed their exams and are now qualified as construction mechanics or metal technology specialists. “Young people have sound career prospects in Hamburg,” says Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg and patron of this apprenticeship program. “And being trained at VTG AG is a great way to start your career, because rail logistics is an industry with a future – one that plays an important part in efficient, climate-friendly freight transport. My congratulations go to the graduates: I wish you all the best for your careers!” Dr. Heiko Fischer, Chief Executive Officer of VTG AG, is equally upbeat: “We are very proud of our RailTrain graduates and congratulate them on passing their exams! We are especially pleased that we have been able either to take on these young career beginners at VTG or help them find employment at other companies. The program is now well-established and successful in Hamburg, as can be seen from the growing number of applicants year after year. Our special thanks go to the whole RailTrain team: You have done a tremendous job, accompanying and supporting each individual trainee with huge dedication.”
A fresh start for graduates
The graduates themselves are doubly happy. Besides successfully passing their exams and qualifying as construction mechanics or metal technology specialists, they now also have excellent opportunities to transition into permanent employment – be that at VTG itself or at other companies in the rail industry, shipbuilding, environmental technology or waste management, for example. Two of the graduates have decided to continue their education, with one receiving a scholarship from VTG to complete a master qualification. In addition, one trainee (the eighth in total) was taken on from an insolvent company in December 2019. Having completed his RailTrain apprenticeship as a construction mechanic at VTG’s service facility in Syke, he can now look forward to permanent employment in the mobile service unit at the VTG wagon works in Brühl. “These fantastic achievements are all the more impressive when you think that the whole of the last year of training took place under strict coronavirus prevention measures,” says an obviously happy Andre Grote, Chief Instructor at VTG RailTrain. “We started out together and learned a lot from each other. It is wonderful to see the entire first intake complete their apprenticeship with flying colors!”
Inclusive training program
On top of the established array of apprenticeships – covering six different skilled occupations and five other dual study courses – VTG AG in 2017 also launched its inclusive VTG RailTrain program for young people with special educational needs. Every year since then, as many as ten youngsters in Hamburg have again signed up for the vocational sandwich course that will qualify them as construction mechanics. The course is tailored primarily to young people with a basic school leaving certificate and an interest in a technical apprenticeship. Alongside the training they receive in Hamburg, the young adults also familiarize themselves with the operational routine at VTG’s own wagon works in Brühl and at its other sites. Practical skills are naturally an important aspect of the vocational training provided. In addition, however, VTG also provides both theoretical education at a vocational school and regular training units, as well as taking care of social education care and remedial teaching. Together, the participants thus learn to overcome obstacles to their training and can develop their individual strengths.
Applications for the 2021 academic year
This year, the opportunity for vocational training in the metalworking sector will once again be open to ten young people. Applications for VTG RailTrain’s new academic year are already welcome: The closing date for applications is June 2021.