Germany: apprenticeships volunteering
We believe that an awareness of social issues is an important asset for our apprentices. At our Eisenhüttenstadt steel plant in Germany we launched a project in 2008 to encourage our apprentices to get involved in the community. The programme now involves all our apprentices at the site, including mechanics, electricians and industrial clerks. Each apprentice spends two weeks volunteering during the second year of their apprenticeship, for example in hospitals, kindergartens, homes for the elderly and disabled and so on. This creates value for both the apprentice and the company. The experience of volunteering helps the apprentices gain new skills and experiences, resulting in stronger social competence and improved communication and interpersonal skills. The apprentices improve their knowledge of team-working which in turn provides benefits to the company. Since the project began, approximately 500 apprentices have taken part in the programme, and about 20 institutions and social and medical care organisations have benefited as a result.