ALPLA taking dual training to new countries
Following on from Mexico and China, the global specialist for plastic packaging and recycling, the ALPLA Group, is now introducing dual training in additional countries: the first apprentices in India and Poland will be trained according to the Austrian model starting this autumn.
The global family-owned enterprise based in Austria is currently training 250 apprentices around the world, not only in Austria and Germany, where the dual training system taking place at a company and at school has a long tradition, but also in China and Mexico. India and Poland are now set to follow this year. The aim is to be one step ahead in covering the rising demand for skilled workers in these regions.
India’s first Future Corner – the term ALPLA uses for its training workshops – is currently under development in the city of seven million, Hyderabad. The prospective machining technicians and mechatronics technicians will begin their training based on the Austrian model in the autumn. This opportunity will be given to up to ten young people a year. Two Indian instructors will be responsible for their practical training at the plant, while the theory side of things will be handled in cooperation with a local polytechnic.
Professional training will likewise get under way in Ostrów Mazowiecka north-east of Warsaw in the autumn. Six mechatronics technicians a year will be trained up in Poland. ‘The dual training model is very attractive for young people in Poland,’ explains Julian Fässler, who is responsible for rolling ALPLA’s dual training out globally. ‘Education is compulsory up to the age of 18 in Poland. The dual training model gives school pupils the opportunity to venture into the world of work already at the age of 15 or 16 while also obtaining their school-leaving qualification.’
It takes a lot of preparation to introduce dual training in a new country. This includes talking to the local authorities, selecting the right school and settling on a curriculum. ‘The concept of dual training is only familiar to people in central Europe. But it is important to us that young people can earn themselves a qualification which is recognised in their country,’ emphasises Fässler. At the end of the training, the apprentices take an exam in front of Austrian representatives. A certificate of equivalence can be applied for in Austria as the vocational and practical knowledge acquired is in line with the basics of the Austrian job profile.
Those who have graduated in Mexico and China over the years stand as a testament to the successful implementation of dual training abroad. Dual training began in Toluca, Mexico, in 2013. Upon completing their apprenticeships, the skilled workers work at the four plants in Mexico. Three apprenticeships are now offered in Mexico: mechatronics, machining and plastics moulding. A total of 16 new apprentices were welcomed last autumn – a new record. Nine apprentices successfully completed their training this February, bringing the total number of apprentices in Mexico with a training qualification to 45. Of these 45 graduates, 40 work at ALPLA.
ALPLA established dual training in China in 2013 together with the injection moulding machinery manufacturer Engel and the Shanghai Information Technology College. Since then, machining technicians, plastics moulders and mechatronics technicians for the plants in Shanghai, Taicang, Tianjin, Hefei and Guangzhou have been completing their basic training at the Future Corner in Shanghai.