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Stuttgart, Germany – #bosch is once again creating 75 vocational training opportunities for young people from Italy and Spain to help combat the high level of youth unemployment in these countries. By doing so, the supplier of technology and services is continuing its southern Europe apprenticeship initiative with a new year of apprenticeships. In 2014, #bosch created 100 additional apprenticeships for young men and women from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. “Our occupational training concept with strong intercultural assistance has proved successful. We remain committed to this initiative, as youth unemployment remains very high, especially in Italy and Spain,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert #bosch GmbH. Qualified vocational training significantly improves young people’s job prospects, Kübel added. Of the apprenticeships #bosch is offering, 50 are in Germany, 15 are in Spain, and 10 are in Italy. The positions in Germany are for Spanish apprentices, as youth unemployment is particularly high in Spain. #bosch also has greater training capacities in Germany than in Spain. Here the apprentices can earn qualifications for the Spanish labor market starting in fall 2017. #bosch is also involved in vocational training projects in Italy and Spain to prepare young people for the demands of working life. In total, #bosch is making a total of 175 additional apprenticeships and around 14 million euros available to combat youth unemployment in southern Europe.
Positive results so far – success factors for integration
Twenty months into the program, the Spanish apprentices from the first round in Germany have completed the first part of their exams in professions such as mechatronics engineer or industrial mechanic. Like their fellow German apprentices, they have completed the practical and theoretical portions in German. “The results of the exams reaffirm the design of our apprenticeship program. In the practical portion, they are on par with German apprentices, whereas the language remains a particular challenge in the written theoretical portion,” says Siegfried Czock, the head of occupational and professional training at #bosch in Germany. The trainers are confident that the young Spaniards will pass the final exams after three and a half years. “Completing your occupational training in a different country with a foreign language and culture is a big step,” says Ana Maria San Andres Gonzalez, who comes from near Madrid, Spain. She is training to be a mechatronics engineer at the #bosch location in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. “That’s why it’s important to me to also find my way outside of work and feel at ease. My trainers, colleagues, and vocational school teachers support me in this every day.”
Bosch supports the apprentices with language courses, professional mentors, and social-educational supervision. “Teaching language skills is pivotal to learning and to successful integration. Intercultural training and constant supervision by qualified trainers are the key to successful occupational training abroad,” Czock says, summing up the success factors. In comparable projects throughout Germany, the average drop-out rate is around 40 percent. At #bosch, 40 of the original 45 participants are still in the program.
Prepare for the future – new occupational training project in Italy and Spain
To prepare school and college students for the demands of their future careers, #bosch has launched two new #educational projects in Italy and Spain. The “Prepare for the future” project gives school students a first glimpse into the working world and potential career profiles. In Italy, the project already reached more than 40,000 students at around 200 schools in its first year. On account of the positive feedback, #bosch will also start offering “Prepare for the future” in Spain this year. In another project, the supplier of technology and services is adapting elements of the German dual education system to the situation in Italy. In the first year, #bosch placed more than 100 participants in training and apprenticeship programs at #bosch locations or with customers. Numerous partners – such as regional governments, non-profit organizations, and companies – are supporting the projects.
Leveraging experience to support the integration of refugees
Bosch is also contributing its experience with the apprenticeship initiative to support the integration of refugees. This year, Bosch’s refugee-focused offerings include some 400 internships at roughly 30 locations. The goal is to work with vocational training departments to help refugees prepare for the job market or an apprenticeship. The company first teaches the responsible trainers intercultural skills. Kübel: “From our apprenticeship initiative, we know that intercultural assistance, along with learning the language quickly, is important for refugees’ integration. This is particularly true for young people who are on their own for the first time.” The #bosch locations are also making unused property and company-owned housing available for refugee accommodation, in addition to supporting local initiatives with non-cash donations. In addition, the company and its associates together raised 820,000 euros which will be used to finance more than 100 refugee aid projects, all of which were proposed by #bosch associates
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