In the 2021 training year, a. hartrodt Germany welcomes 15 young professionals, more than half of them female, following 13 new apprentices in 2020. With this positive development, the family-owned company sets an example against the general negative trend. According to media reports, the number of places on offer and applications in Germany fell significantly. On August 1, 2021, eight commercial apprentices started in Hamburg plus two in Frankfurt. "We are also going to fill three apprenticeships in Stuttgart and one each in Hanover and Nuremberg on September 1," reports Martin Argendorf, who is responsible for training at a. hartrodt in Hamburg.
Classroom teaching at the vocational school
"At the vocational school, there will be classroom teaching again with an increased number of hours," says Argendorf. Even if this is at the expense of company attendance, the manager thinks: "It's great that the school is so committed." In the Corona year 2020, the apprentices first had distance learning and later alternating classes. "That required a lot of discipline," reports Floyd Kaps, who is in his third year as an apprentice at a. hartrodt in Hamburg.
Mentors and training representatives in the company
In Covid times, the apprentice starter kit from a. hartrodt includes, among other things, a webcam, headset and VPN access (Virtual Private Network) for mobile working. As a mentor, Kaps provides individual support to a new apprentice for two weeks: "We spend the breaks outdoors in the fresh air, in line with the measures against the spread of the Corona virus." Argendorf knows about the importance of exchange at eye level in order to integrate young people: "This way, questions about onboarding and e-mail or video conferencing programs can be clarified informally." In addition, each department has training representatives. But Argendorf states: "In the pandemic, it's more difficult to get to know our processes and other colleagues."
In Germany, a. hartrodt has 44 apprentices of all ages. "In 2021, we can offer internships abroad again," Argendorf emphasizes. Two apprentices have been in Antwerp (Belgium) and Basel (Switzerland) since mid-July, and two more are going to Prague (Czech Republic) in autumn.