September 10, 2013 – Two years ago, Stefan Antel took the decision to set up a vocational education program in Mexico based on the German apprenticeship model. As General Manager of Schuler’s local subsidiary, he was desperately searching for skilled staff to provide technical support for the modern presses which the global market leader in metal forming supplies from Germany. Schuler has now officially opened the new vocational training center Cedual (Centro de Especialización Dual) in Puebla.
German ambassador Dr. Edmund Duckwitz, Dirk Niebel, Stefan Klebert, CEO of Schuler AG, Rafael Moreno Valle and Dr. Wolfgang Leitner, CEO of Andritz AG (from left). Photo: Schuler Group.
This type of professional skills training is new to Mexico – a key reason for Rafael Moreno Valle, Governor of the Mexican state of Puebla, and Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel to jointly open this lighthouse project. The minister was accompanied by a high-ranking German delegation, including the President of the Confederation of German Employers, Prof. Dieter Hundt, and the German ambassador Dr. Edmund Duckwitz.
“Schuler not only exports presses to Mexico, but in Cedual also Germany’s dual education and training system, which is the envy of many countries around the world,” stated Schuler’s CEO Stefan Klebert at the opening ceremony. Apprenticeships play a key role in Schuler’s efforts to ensure a steady supply of young and highly skilled employees.
The first 30 apprentices began their courses in September 2012. Photo: Schuler Group.
Antel believes it is just as important in Mexico: “Our machines are high-tech and require suitably qualified skilled staff. These are highly motivated but rare, as Mexico has no basic technical training system like in Germany. “The first 30 apprentices began their courses last September. The second intake of students will start soon. The new Schuler training center has enough space to train a total of 90 industrial mechanic and tool mechanic apprentices according to the German system.
The course is based on the curriculum for apprenticeships in industrial engineering professions. As in Germany, there are both theoretical and practical phases. “The center is equipped with drilling, turning, milling and grinding machines, as well as 30 work benches. The technical college element is also held on Schuler’s premises. German instructors teach the apprentices in an audio- visual lecture theater and three classrooms,” explains Antel. On completing their three-year course, the future skilled workers are awarded a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK). This is equivalent to the qualification received in Germany.
The delegation included the President of the Confederation of German Employers, Prof. Dieter Hund (fifth from right) and und Tom Pätz, Managing Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (first from left). Second from right: General manager Stefan Antel. Photo: Schuler Group.
Schuler enlisted the support of one Spanish and five German companies for the project, who all train their staff at the facility. In addition to Allgaier the other companies are Gestamp, Luk, PWO, ThyssenKrupp Presta and ThyssenKrupp Materials. Antel also has been given firm Cedual offer from the first Mexican company, the automotive supplier Metalsa, and among others the Danish toy manufacturer Lego.
The partner companies bear the costs for all training provided by Schuler. In addition, they pay their young trainees both a salary and benefits. Schuler itself is currently training six young Mexicans. The center is being sponsored by the German government.
With one eye on the future, Klebert concluded by stating: “We have only just started in Mexico. But our success so far proves that our approach is right and that the effort is worthwhile. We will now gather experience and perhaps open a further training center elsewhere at some point.”
Schuler’s Mexican sales and service company was founded in 2005. The company employs around 160 people at its main base in Puebla and in the north-eastern town of Saltillo.
To learn more about the company visit the Schuler Group website.