Just as Gebr. Becker maintains a long tradition as a machine & plant manufacturer, vocational training is also an integral part of the corporate culture. This year we can look back with a little pride on 50 years of vocational training at Gebr. Becker. Many young people have taken their first steps in working life during this long period and are now part of the face of the company.
The training company was started in 1970 in the Gennebreck. Detlef Brüder was the first apprentice to be led by Heinz Wittich and Heinz Krüner to the final examination as machine fitter. During this time, the training was even more practice-oriented and took place directly on the product. Production machines had to be set up and fixtures were manufactured. If a machine was damaged, it was repaired by the company itself. As Detlef Brüder reports, both instructors were outstanding both professionally and interpersonally and were always available for advice and assistance. Shortly after the technical-industrial professions, training in the commercial sector was also started. Under the direction of Helmut Hohagen and Karl Hein Schöpe, the trainees passed through the specialist department, a time when computers and the Internet were far from being a topic of discussion. Working with the typewriter and calculator was part of the working day and a dictation was taken down in shorthand, a fast typing method that is no longer found in any curriculum today.
With the economic growth and the move to the Hölker Feld location, the training changed as well. Always with the basic idea in mind - to allow its employees to grow within the company - a separate training workshop was built at the new location for raining purposes. Hans Joachim Fettke was responsible for the training from 1980 onwards and was to shape the training until his retirement in 2010. The challenge during this time was that entire job profiles changed and new professions were created at the request of the industry. The professions - machine fitter and lathe operator/ milling cutter - became the industrial mechanic and cutting machine operator. The CNC technology moved into the apprenticeship and electrical engineering is a pillar of the profession as a mechatronic technician. Hans Joachim Fettke has accepted all these challenges and has pushed training topics forward through his cooperation with vocational schools and professional associations. Gebr. Becker became known beyond the borders of Wuppertal for its excellent training and the reward was the award of the "Bergischer Ausbildungspreis 2007".
Many employees who learned under Hans Joachim Fettke will not want to miss the time. Besides his technical knowledge he had a very big heart and was always there for his "Becker boys". In the commercial area Ulrich Wilkesmann took over the responsibility for the training in 1990. A factory training in cooperation with other mining companies was introduced and the departmental flow was restructured. In the year 2001 the training enterprise at the location Apolda was taken up. Under the management of Thomas Riemann and Peter Schröter, three trainees signed their contract as cutting machine operators. In Apolda the training is very important around skilled workers for the enterprise to win, since the region is quite small by the population density. As of today, training in Thuringia is one of the top addresses in the Weimar region and an important partner for schools in the field of career orientation.
In a new training center, which was moved into in 2016, four different training professions are now offered and many internships are carried out. The interaction between the departments and training has always been important for the trainees to gain practical experience in the company. With the introduction of the training officers, the quality of the in-company training has again been significantly improved. From the introduction to the department, the technical support and as feedback providers, the training officers do a valuable job and support the training department as a link with the specialist departments.
From the year 2009, the course was set anew in the training area. The retirement of Hans Jürgen Fettke was foreseeable and a successor from within the company was found. Marco Hausmann, who himself completed his training in the company as an industrial mechanic at the beginning of 1990 and had already supported the training in the area of CNC technology and CAD training, was the successor as training manager. With the introduction of the extended final examination there were again some structural changes. With Rene Harzer (electrical engineering) and later Philipp Wilkes (metal technology), two trainers joined the training department and since then have been supporting the trainees even more intensively.
By splitting the departments it was possible to place further important topics in the training area. In addition to technical training, the building block of personality development has become much more important and learning with digital media has moved in. In practice, this means that the trainee works through learning content on a tablet, downloads technical drawings directly at the machine and communicates with instructors and with other trainees directly via a communication platform. But the education department also supports the specialist departments in other areas.
The trainees are an integral part of the CIP workshop and have helped to change the image of production. An assembly line was built and many 5S measures ensured order and cleanliness. There are still some goals and challenges for the future. In-house training should be given a higher priority and digitalization topics should be included more. The work and the activities in the company will change in the next years and therefore the education sector is subject to the same dynamics.
But as the past has shown, we have always managed to accept changes in the training sector and to orient ourselves towards the future. We are optimistic that we will succeed in the future and that we will support the company with our work. Many thanks at this point to the Becker family, who have always stood behind the training and supported it. Further thanks go to all training officers, the colleagues in the personnel department and all departments. Your work is very important for the trainees and you help to shape the future of Gebr. Becker.