Heading towards the energy future with new apprentices
A total of 21 apprentices, including 2 women, are starting at the Ybbs-Persenbeug training site this year. The sought-after dual professional training (electrical and metal engineering) is securing the future of hydropower in Austria.
With the ceremonial signing of the apprenticeship contracts, 21 power plant operators and a future surveying technician began their professional future today. Over the next four years they will be trained at the Ybbs-Persenbeug apprentice workshop and at the power plant sites in Lower Austria, Vienna, Styria and Carinthia. VERBUND will take on a total of 45 apprentices this year in Austria and Bavaria.
Michael Amerer, managing director of VERBUND Hydro Power GmbH, is also responsible for the apprentice training at the VERBUND group. “The success of our unique dual vocational training program is reflected in the above-average success in the final apprenticeship examinations. This year, one third of our apprentices graduated with distinction." As of the second year the apprentices are trained at the power plants. The combination of practical orientation and digital, smart applications requires new qualifications from apprentices and trainers alike. Today, wrenches and smartphones are almost equivalent tools in modern power plant operation.
“Hydropower plays a key role in the energy revolution. Only with qualified, motivated employees can we meet the challenge of the climate crisis,” says Michael Amerer.
“Lower Austrian companies urgently need well-trained and motivated skilled workers. As we can see, we are constantly achieving good results with the biggest apprenticeship initiative ever in Lower Austria. Our apprentices prove this again and again in both national and international competitions,” says Deputy Governor Dr. Stephan Pernkopf.
Apprenticeship trades more attractive for women
Women are still underrepresented in technical apprenticeship trades. VERBUND is making great efforts to increase the proportion of women. This year three young women begin their apprenticeship at VERBUND.
More than just clean energy from the region
The advantages of hydropower in electricity generation are very apparent. Power plant operation with personnel from the region is also an important economic factor. In Lower Austria alone, VERBUND invests around €37 million annually in operational investments, maintenance and other work on the power plants. These investments create regional added value through the collaboration with local suppliers.
Two professions, one apprenticeship
Starting out at VERBUND as an apprentice creates development opportunities for later on in professional life. The double apprenticeship forms a solid basis: in 4 years the future skilled workers are trained as electrical engineers and metal technicians. The apprentices are trained in the two apprentice workshops in Kaprun, Ybbs and Töging in Bavaria. The practical application of theoretical knowledge plays an important role here - preferably in one of the 128 VERBUND power plants. Other apprentices and experienced supervisors create a positive environment, which also includes joint leisure activities.