Aurubis shapes the future: new Innovation and Training Center inaugurated
Hamburg | Thursday, September 5, 2019
- First Mayor of Hamburg Peter Tschentscher symbolically opens new building with copper key
- Aurubis increases vocational training capacity from currently 180 apprenticeships to about 300
- Research & Development and Training departments brought together in terms of both proximity and topics
Aurubis is taking the next step towards the future: together with First Mayor of Hamburg Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Aurubis AG CEO Roland Harings, Plant Manager Dr. Jens Jacobsen, and Head of Training Nils Gerstenkorn inaugurated the new Innovation and Training Center (IAZ) at the Hamburg site. With a key cast by apprentices from molten copper beforehand, they symbolically unlocked the new building for its future use.
The company invested about € 18 million in the building, which has a usable area of 6,500 m² and took roughly one and a half years to build. The IAZ provides space for the Research & Development department – but also modern workshops, machines, and laboratory facilities for apprentices. In the 1,400 m² training workshop alone, there are 90 workbench spaces and over 40 training machines. Here, young Aurubis employees can learn and test the fundamentals of their occupations, especially in the first few months of their apprenticeships, before they then put their skills into practice in the Hamburg plant. Furthermore, a variety of flexibly designed group areas, study rooms, and workspaces enable apprentices to create their own individual conditions for optimal learning.
Aurubis addresses the shortage of qualified workers
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Mayor Tschentscher emphasized the social importance of vocational training in particular, stating that Aurubis serves as a good example in this area: “Aurubis takes its responsibility for young qualified workers seriously and creates new, modern training centers like the IAZ. Training at Aurubis has an excellent reputation. The apprentices are thus the in-demand specialists of tomorrow who can count on good occupational opportunities in a strong company.”
With the new building, Aurubis establishes the foundation for increasing the number of apprentices from currently 180 to about 300 in the coming years. Aurubis already provides training in 11 different occupations – from process technologists in the metal industry to chemical laboratory assistants to dual study programs – and is currently the second largest industrial training provider in Hamburg. The company therefore covers its demand for young, qualified employees; the retention rate in the past several years has been about 90 percent.
We can complain about the shortage of qualified workers – or we can do something about it. Aurubis decided on a sizable investment,” said Roland Harings. “You only have to look at the demographic data to realize that we as a company have to do more in the future when it comes to training young people in order to sustain the Hamburg site in the future. Vocational training is an investment that will ideally continue to pay off 40 years from now. It therefore only makes sense for us to provide our apprentices with the best possible workspaces and optimal conditions for learning.
Inspiration for the future
The apprentices should also benefit from their physical proximity to the Research & Development department, whose approximately 60 employees also moved into the new building. The shared use of the equipment, but also joint trials and experiments, should help both departments think outside the box and share ideas with each other. Roland Harings explained: “Both departments work on securing the future of the site and of the entire company. The IAZ is thus the hub of Aurubis’ future.”
Vocational training is practical social engagement
About half of the young people who start their working lives at Aurubis have an immigrant background. Today, colleagues from over 50 nations work together within the Group. For several years, Aurubis has been involved in projects to integrate young people with challenging starting conditions into the workforce. Together with the District School of Veddel, Aurubis runs the AV 10-Plus program to provide secondary school graduates who have received lower-level qualifications with better opportunities for entering the workforce. Recently, the company has also started supporting the projects Joblinge and MUT Academy. The new apprenticeship class at Aurubis, which started at the beginning of September, includes two apprentices from each of these projects.