Apprentices at HAWE Hydraulik are creating training models for specialist training in Africa. The imparting of knowledge relating to hydraulics helps in the operation, repair and even future development of a range of different machines, and forms the basis for creating perspectives.
On the first information day, when the executive board and Rachel Njau from the VDMA presented the project to the 35 apprentices of HAWE Hydraulik, it quickly became clear that this is a very special project that allows all participants to think outside the box and bring their own individual skills to the table. Initiated by the VDMA and funded by the member companies, the project aims to significantly boost the training provided to specialists in Botswana, Nigeria and Kenya. At present, dual specialist training consisting of theory and practice has not been established in these countries. A few large companies provide specific employee training for their own requirements. But universal training as we know it here in Germany does not exist there. As part of the training project "Fachkräfte für Afrika" (Skilled workers for Africa), VDMA members are now sponsoring and donating equipment for training centres, and actively contributing their expertise within the field of professional training. Specialists are also being sent out to provide further training.
The objective of the VDMA project is to train people on-site into specialists who can operate, maintain and repair these machines, as well as establish a network between German and African partners. In the long term, this is of course also the basis for machines to eventually be designed and built there.
The corresponding project initiated at HAWE Hydraulik is focused on the construction of 5 hydraulic training models, which the company will then send out to these countries free of charge. These training models have already been successfully used for several years to train their own young specialists. Apprentices in their 1st and 2nd years of training assume full responsibility for the project management. This involves planning installation times, identifying purchase parts, negotiating prices and communicating across all plants. The delivery date is fixed, with the training models due to be sent out to Africa in May 2018.
There is also the prospect of a trip to Africa for some of the apprentices, in order to train the instructors and provide initial on-site training for the specialists-to-be.
Such measures, which seem small at first, could help to alleviate the influx of economic migrants from Africa to Europe. It is hoped that the project will help young people to see better long-term career prospects in their homeland.