With the e-screwdriver speedE® II from Wiha, etz makes the latest equipment available to its trainees...
For each 100 reported apprenticeship openings in Germany there are statistically 92 applicants. This is based on the numbers reported by the Federal Job Centre for the apprenticeship year 2019/2020. This is why Hans-Peter, president of the German Chamber of Crafts, warned in the trade journal the Handelsblatt, that the shortage of skilled workers is expected to worsen. The Elektro Technologie Zentrum (etz) in Stuttgart is facing this challenge in a self-determined and solution-oriented manner: “We have around 3,500 apprentices who attend our vocational training courses annually. They are all young individuals who act as multipliers of our offers and at the same time ambassadors for the electrician profession,” said Marcel Hohenstatt.
When the head of the electrical engineering technology department at etz says this, he knows what he is talking about. At etz, which was recently named the TOP provider of continued education in 2021 by the economic magazine FOCUS, this is a true commitment. Marcel Hohenstatt believes that "Equipping etz based on the latest technology includes the use of tools that complies with the high demands of both the apprentices as well as continued education participants”. This is why they studied the market for professional suppliers for replacement tools and found Wiha, a supplier popular among professional craftspeople, whose tools fulfilled their requirements. We are looking for tools that increase the efficiency of the professional work, support work safety and facilitate all activities. Every craftsperson is motivated and every trainee learns better when they work with the highest possible quality of tools. It is no less than an extended arm, after all”, said Hohenstatt.
One reason he is this keen on the topic is his desire for etz to remain the top address for electricians' professional training. “We consider our own quality to be the best tool against the lack of skilled labour. Quality means for the young people that it is easier to learn when motivated. In the end this benefits the image of the profession as a whole.”
etz first equipped its subsidiary in Aalen with new tools. This included 50 speedE II from Wiha that introduced a completely new tool category to the training premises – the e-screwdriver. Frequently a battery-powered screwdriver is used for fastening terminals when wiring distributors, which can damage the applied materials. “To make work contents such as simple fastening for such a task more pleasant and faster we looked for a solution that at the same time did not damage the materials”, said Marcel Hohenstatt. As this reduces the required effort for fastening in practical applications the technician can focus on the important and demanding tasks of the job.
The result worked out as expected. Today, not only the apprentices in Aalen are working with the e-screwdriver from the Black Forest region, but the workshops in Stuttgart are also equipped with it. Gregor Beschier is in his second year of training as an electrical technician and said “The SpeedE is comfortable to handle and allows relaxed work”. His instructor Pedro Lopes is a lecturer at etz and confirms:“Proper tools are essentially important – not only for professionals in their daily work but also during professional training already”.
The fact that new tools instead of “old junk" are in demand here shows that the world of professional craftspeople is also changing. “Luckily, ergonomic aspects of work places and tools are firmly established today”, says Marcel Hohenstatt. But also what the craftspeople work on is no longer what it once was –“Systems are more complex, require greater expertise and more precise tools. In this area also the times are changing”.
Marcel Hohenstatt considers the craft and trade companies in Germany to be the “backbone of the medium-sized business sector”. etz supports them with its vocational training courses. “This means that etz must always be at the cutting edge of methodology and equipment, which also includes high quality tools. And if automatic tools are becoming widely used in the professional world out there we must keep up by all means”, concluded Hohenstatt. As a partner of the companies offering apprenticeships he considers it to be one of the aims of his institution to make the training as attractive as possible. At the same time also to gain as many young skilled professionals for the electrician profession as possible.