They call themselves Future Heroes. The trainees at ebm‑papst, headquartered in Mulfingen (Baden-Württemberg) and other locations including Landshut and St. Georgen, want to break down prejudices against vocational training and demonstrate its high value.
Being bossed around was a thing of the past; today, creative ideas and personal responsibility are called for, they say. As an example of this, the trainees of the world's leading manufacturer of fans and motors are responsible for the entire presentation at the Hannover Messe (April 17 to 21, 2023).
The organization activities ranged from hotel bookings and product selection to letters to customers and behavioral training. The young people even invited federal and state politicians on their own initiative – with success. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit with the Indonesian president. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck will be at the stand, as well as Minister President Winfried Kretschmann and Economics Minister Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut from Baden-Württemberg.
Even in the preparatory period, the project caused a stir internationally. A Danish newspaper and a Dutch radio station reported on it. The lead trainees in the 17-person team are Melanie Bildhoff (22) and Kim Ziegler (20), who are attending a dual study program, and Maximilian Chrzan (19), who is being trained as an industrial clerk. They know that training is extremely important in times when there is a shortage of young people and skilled workers. It is exciting and offers many career opportunities, and its quality is usually much better than its reputation.
There used to be far more applications, Kim Ziegler emphasizes. Trainees are the future of the company, she points out. "Society's ideas about vocational training are outdated, which is why we are committed to renewing them," says Melanie Bildhoff. Today, she says, it is important to take responsibility. She is pleased that ebm‑papst is setting a good example and focusing on the next generation.
"We want to show what excellent development opportunities modern vocational training offers," says CEO Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer. The Chairman of the Executive Management Board at ebm‑papst believes that it is important to get young people excited about technology. If training positions remain vacant, the company faces enormous challenges, he adds. As early as the end of 2022, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) reported 11,000 vacant training positions. At ebm‑papst, just about 20 of more than 100 new training positions were open at that time.
The situation continues to deteriorate, according to CHRO Dr. Sonja Fleischer. "I am extremely proud of our trainees. It is fantastic to see how they have implemented this complex task with enthusiasm," she says in praise of the trade show project. In her view, "the Hannover Messe is a great platform to show how we live the transfer of responsibility with a high degree of independence in the company and simply let our youngest employees do it," she explains.
"Over the past six months, we have really done everything down to the smallest detail," says Maximilian Chrzan. Before applying to ebm‑papst, the future industrial clerk heard from friends that it would be cool to work at the Hohenlohe-based company. His expectations were confirmed, he states.
From April 17, the Future Heroes will welcome visitors to show how their company is leading air technology into the next generation. They can be found in Hall 7 at Stand C50 at the world's largest exhibition center.
Strong sign for vocational training - ebm‑papst young talents planned the entire appearance at the Hannover Messe 2023 at which 17 trainees will represent the fan specialist.
The core team are:
Fig. 1: from left to right Maximilian Chrzan, Melanie Bildhoff, Kim Ziegler
Fig. 2: from left to right Maximilian Chrzan, Kim Ziegler and Melanie Bildhoff