*Matura: school-leaving exam that is the qualification for entering third-level education.
In the last few months I have been working on the sorting machines in the assembly plant in Brodingberg. I found the work quite challenging at first, but everything got easier after a couple of weeks and I was already able to make some of the smaller decisions by myself. I really enjoy the work in this department, because there is such a variety in the tasks I have to do – from drilling to cable routing to labelling. Connecting cables is also exciting because you have to do it precisely. In this one shed you can see the whole process that turns a painted chassis into a complex, fully assembled sorting machine.
The construction site in Belgium was a highlight of my training so far. There we also had to lay and connect a lot of cables. In a few years, I could see myself working as an installation technician or even as a foreman. Alongside my work I go to evening school twice a week. After a hard day on the job it‘s often not easy to pull myself together and go to school, but then I manage it somehow. Doing an ‘apprenticeship with Matura’* without paying fees is a great opportunity to get ahead with my education and that‘s why I decided to do it.
I have been working as an electrical technician at BT-Anlagenbau since 2012 and am now in the final year of my apprenticeship. In the course of my training, after getting over a few bumps at the beginning I have learned a lot of new things, had great experiences and got to know a lot of new people. In the first year the focus was on the basic skills such as putting switch cabinets together and doing small cabling jobs. In the second and third years I progressed to more demanding electrical work and also more complex assemblies in our metalworking shop. From the second year on, outside installation work was part of the programme. My first big installation job was in the voestalpine Steel lime works in Styerling, where we did the electrical installation of a gigantic conveyor belt that moves several tons of rock per day. No less impressive was working in the voestalpine steelworks in Linz, where I could watch tons of glowing steel being forged into shapes and then transported over our heads by huge cranes. My work experience has involved many other unforgettable moments. But the apprenticeship isn‘t only work. I also have technical school and the courses in the company, led by our apprentice trainer. I also took courses in PLC programming, pneumatics and electrohydraulics at the BFI vocational training institute in Weiz, leading to the Trialty Certificate.
Already in my first year I had an appraisal interview with the CEO, personnel manager and the head of the workshops to talk about my future and my opportunities in the company. At that time I was most interested in working with PLCs and visualization, and in working with clients. With the approval of our CEO, I then got the chance to take the courses I just mentioned. As well as this, I will be doing a placement in the visualization department for four weeks this summer. I am doing the ‘apprenticeship with Matura’* and at the moment am studying English and maths. So after my final apprenticeship exams, all career options in the company will be open to me.
I am still excited to see what else my final year brings and am looking forward to more interesting experiences.