Kion Group takes on apprentices

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

FRANKFURT, Germany – This year, 132 young people will begin a vocational apprenticeship or a degree apprenticeship with the Kion Group.

Of the new entrants, 107 will be working towards one of 16 technical or business qualifications, while 25 will embark on one of eleven bachelor degree or degree apprenticeship courses. Within its brand companies Linde, Still, and Dematic, as well as at Kion Group IT, the Kion Group employs almost 600 vocational and degree apprentices at nine locations in Germany, including the latest recruits.

Of the young people starting out this year, 87 have chosen technical jobs, such as mechatronics engineer or industrial mechanic. 20 of the new recruits opted for commercial training, e.g. professional qualifications in wholesale and foreign trade or in industrial sales management. Twenty-five of the new starters decided on a degree apprenticeship, most of them choosing the route towards a BSc in business information systems.

“The large number of applicants shows that our innovative products and growth areas make the Kion Group an attractive employer for young people,” says Anke Groth, labour relations director and CFO of Kion Group AG.

“We would like to offer good prospects to as many young people as possible by providing them with solid vocational qualifications – even at a difficult time, such as during the current coronavirus pandemic. Well-trained and skilled, motivated workers are the key to maintaining our competitiveness in the long term.”

As they begin their training with the Kion Group companies at the start of August or September, the new apprentices will be laying the foundation for their future careers. Kion Group IT, Linde, and STILL are organizing ‘Welcome Days’ and induction weeks to help the new starters settle in.

During guided tours, factory visits, discovery tours, and team building exercises, the trainees get to know each other as well as their new companies. Following this orientation period, they all head off to their respective courses or departments, where they receive close support from their trainers and attend seminars for their personal and professional development.

Still in Hamburg, for example, is running a one-week seminar with the theme ‘Bestsellers of 2030’ this year. The trainees and students are asked to take an existing product – such as a vehicle drive system – and improve it to make it fit for the future. The new recruits get to plan the design as well as the commercial details.

“Our aim is to get them to engage with our products and to identify with our company. We also want them to collaborate, to develop viable, innovative ideas, and to produce specific solutions,” explains Jan Wehlen, head of vocational training at Still in Hamburg.

“Each group of participants presents the ideas they have developed to a panel of judges consisting of senior managers from the company and then faces critical questions on all aspects of their project.”

At Linde Material Handling, project-integrated training is a core part of the program. The trainees form teams across departments to work independently on improving the company’s processes and workflows. This provides them with the experience of using a systematic approach and teaches them important interpersonal skills.

Exceptional trainees also have the opportunity to undertake a four-week placement at one of Linde MH’s global sites, explains Christopher Klix, Head of Vocational Training at Linde MH in Aschaffenburg.

Of the 77 apprentices who finished their training this year, 70 were taken on by the company, a retention rate of more than 90 percent.

The application and selection phase for training places in 2021 has already begun.