Heroic search for trainees

Heroic search for trainees

Whining does not help. Thorsten wahner female the. And that’s why he’s been steering against it for a little over a year now. The gerustbauer from sulzfeld wants to have trainees in the future as well – who will become satisfied employees.

The training market is being fought over. While large companies and businesses in the IT and automotive sectors, as well as public administrations, will continue to be able to fill their trainee positions, the situation is very different in some areas of the skilled trades. Vacancies remain unfilled, especially in the food trade, in construction and among installers. In the hotel and catering sector, the situation has been tense not only since corona. "Special recruitment methods are becoming increasingly important in times of scarce demand," says wolfgang albert of the agency for labor in wurzburg.

Special recruitment methods

The palette of measures ranges from monetary incentives such as cash bonuses for certain grades or the assumption of cell phone costs, to the provision of a company car, to image films that run primarily on the various social media channels. But hardly any other company in franconia could have responded to the critical training situation as comprehensively as eugen wahner gmbh in sulzfeld. With success.

The family business has not had a single applicant in recent years. "Zero," emphasizes thorsten wahner, forming his thumb and forefinger into this frustrating number. It couldn’t go on like this. So the 47-year-old thought: all or nothing – and went full throttle.

In tune with the times

An advertising agency was hired and a media plan was drawn up. Three super heroes were the inspiration for the statement: become a gerustbauer, become a hero. The idea behind it: not only strength is needed for the job, but also cleverness and perseverance. Since then, the three "wahner heroes" can be seen almost everywhere: on advertising posters, in the wurzburg streetcar, on the plans of the wahner companies anyway. "With the superheroes, we’ve hit the zeitgeist," says a delighted timo hausmann, right-hand man to the commercial management at wahner – and a creative mind himself. The 29-year-old has created an eight-page comic strip. The picture shows the development of an insecure young person looking for an apprenticeship into a satisfied employee. It’s all fiction? For thorsten wahner, the comic stands for a very real path. "But you have to do a lot for that."

Once a week, the employees receive a bag of fruit, thursdays are cake day, and at stern-brau in albertshofen, the manager has "wahner beer" bottled for them. The boss invites the employees to go-karting and plans two christmas parties a year. A conventional one with partners in the restaurant and one on the workshop site – with DJ and fog machine. "Over the years, we have built up a sense of teamwork," says the 47-year-old. And it is not least the trainees who are to benefit from this.

Presence at trade shows

They are not only approached via various advertising platforms, but also at trade fairs, where the company wants to expand its presence. This is entirely in the spirit of dr. Lukas kagerbauer, head of vocational training at the wurzburg-schweinfurt chamber of commerce and industry. The restrictions imposed by corona also had an impact on the training market, he recalls. The reluctance of young people has become even more pronounced in the last two years. "In addition to creative online campaigns, companies will in future again focus strongly on showcase events such as trade fairs, their own training days or internships," he predicts.

Thorsten wahner and his staff of around 50 put the pedal to the metal even earlier, inviting schools from the region to a hiking day on their company grounds. The students not only received information on a tour of the company, but were also allowed to set up their own gerust themselves. "You have to give the young people their own projects," says thorsten wahner. His experience: they want to take on responsibility. Not afraid of it. "I don’t want any followers in the company," he says and grins. "But real heroes."

What is more important than school grades?

And they come back. He was able to fill his three open positions for the start of training in 2021 without any problems, and he is also planning three trainees for the coming year. For him, will and motivation are more important than grades. He prefers to pay attention to the social skills of applicants and their attitude to work. Complaining is not a good idea.

Shocking figures

From october 2020 to september 2021, companies in the area covered by the wurzburg employment agency (wurzburg, main-spessart and kitzingen counties) reported a total of 4.106 vacant apprenticeship positions. That was 3.5 percent fewer than in the same period last year.

A total of 2.685 young people registered as apprenticeship applicants. Compared to the previous year, that was a minus of 8.2 percent.

At the 30. September of this year, of the 4.106 reported apprenticeship positions still 749 unoccupied. In other words: almost every fifth job was not filled.

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