UZWIL, Switzerland — Bühler Group on Dec. 3 celebrated a young polymechanic named Michael Dörig as the company’s 8,000th vocational apprentice to complete his probationary period. The company has offered vocational training programs for more than 100 years.

According to Bühler, roughly 600 young adults in 25 locations across four continents are currently undergoing apprenticeships through the company. In August 2019, 10 women and 60 men began their apprenticeships.

“Training and continuing education enable Bühler to renew itself permanently. We place our trust in our apprentices at an early stage, but we also demand a lot from them. We unlock the international world of labor for them, because we want them to continue to work for us later on – as open-minded and innovative employees skilled in a wide range of tasks, and either in Switzerland or anywhere else in the world,” said Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group.

Part of the reason Bühler invests in the training programs is to “avert the looming shortage of skilled labor,” the company said. Bühler also aims to retain the skilled workers it trains by providing resources and support for career development before their apprenticeships are completed.

“Vocational training is a long-term strategy for us that we apply in a targeted manner,” says Andreas Bischof, head of apprenticeship at Bühler. Bischof also says having several programs around the world increases access and mobility for skilled workers in the labor market.

The program allows young professionals to experience different areas of skilled labor and pass through several departments to encourage well-rounded skills among its apprentices. Some of these additional focus areas include digitalization, education, social skills, creativity, exchange and diversity.

Apprentices have the opportunity to study abroad in another country, including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France or the US.

Dörig will now prepare for his first important exam and begin planning the remainder of his apprenticeship and future career. "I want to perform well every year, and my goal for the fourth year is an assignment abroad. In the end, I want to finish the apprenticeship with good grades," he said.

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