Part time apprenticeship? #ChallengedAccepted

Apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp | Career at thyssenkrupp | People at thyssenkrupp | The cornerstone for a successful professional future is a solid education. But a full-time apprenticeship can be a challenge for young parents. That's why thyssenkrupp offers part-time apprenticeship at its headquarters in Essen to become an office management assistant.

However, there is also the option of applying for an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk and the dual courses of study Business Administration or International Management. The linchpin of this apprenticeship at thyssenkrupp AG, the head office, is Anna-Lena Zunke. In her role as Head of Apprenticeship and confidant she looks after the apprentices and students and is responsible for all questions relating to apprenticeship.

What is special about part-time apprenticeship?

This apprenticeship is primarily intended for young mothers and fathers who are very busy or have relatives in need of care. At the same time, they bear a great responsibility as parents, which makes solid vocational training all the more important for financial security in life. Against this background, we want to relieve young mothers and fathers of the burden and reduce the compulsory attendance at work by five hours. We also have our own kindergarten and offer flexible working hours.

What was your professional career as a training manager like?

I first studied business education in Duisburg. I then joined thyssenkrupp in Essen as a working student in 2017 at the thyssenkrupp Academy, our internal learning provider. After I successfully wrote my master’s thesis and finished my studies, I started in human resources development at thyssenkrupp. Fortunately the position as Head of Apprenticeship became vacant in 2019. I applied and was accepted.

You are 28 years old. Is that more of an advantage or disadvantage for you in terms of your job as Head of Apprenticeship?

Personally, I find it a clear advantage. Since I haven’t been in the job for very long myself, I still have a close connection to the challenges that apprenticeship can bring with it. That’s why I can put myself in the shoes of young professionals. We are also on first-name terms with each other and have a very collegial manner.

What questions do the students and apprentices come to you with?

With professional and private topics, with me you can talk about everything – if you want to. Apart from that, I also deal with quite trivial matters such as holiday applications.

What are your duties as a Head of Apprenticeship?

Here at the headquarters in Essen, I am responsible for the tapprenticeship program and its strategic orientation. This also includes the onboarding and personnel development of apprentices. I am also responsible for the recruiting, the process and job planning for the following year at the holding company. This is always done in close cooperation with the youth and training council, the works council and our Board. Together with the training officers, we currently supervise around 20 young people who are undergoing training in various professions.

What do you look for in applicants?

As we offer commercial apprenticeships at our Essen site, good grades in German and mathematics are advantageous. But you don’t have to be a high flyer. You can also apply with an average certificate, because all applicants go through a written test so that we can form our own opinion. The personal level must also be right. Therefore, we make sure that the applicants of an apprenticeship year also harmonize with each other.

How did you get through the Corona crisis?

We did fine. Thanks to the IT equipment, we were able to provide everyone in the home office with tasks. I also video-conferenced with everyone weekly to see how they were doing.

Compared with other employers – what extras does thyssenkrupp have?

We train for our own needs, which means that there is a one-year transfer guarantee that can not be taken for granted elsewhere. In preparation for the foreign language correspondent examination we offer in-house English lessons. Due to the size of our company, we can also provide a comprehensive overview of the content and offer modern conditions such as healthy food in the canteen and modern IT equipment.

What ideas are you working on to expand the content of the apprenticeship programs?

We rely on a change of perspective. That’s why we want to strengthen the network of apprentices and students even more with each other in the future and promote exchange among the individual companies in the Group. Apart from this, we want to present thyssenkrupp more intensively at career fairs as an attractive employer.

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