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Focus on Employees - Buschjost GmbH to invest in a training workshop and canteen

A new construction over two levels is to be created. Christian Kloos-Vollmer (Facility Manager at Buschjost GmbH), Thomas König and Thomas Handt (from left) examine the plans.

The extension is scheduled for the third quarter of 2020, this is the plan. The apprentices are already looking forward to it.

The draft has been done; the building application will be submitted shortly. Buschjost GmbH (a company of IMI Precision Engineering) is planning a new canteen and an extension to the training workshop at its facility by the Lohe. This is a response by the company to the current employment situation. “We want to remain attractive as an employer in the future and thereby to counter the shortage of skilled personnel,” says plant manager Thomas König. “Qualified specialists are in demand now more than ever. And by offering apprenticeships to junior employees we can secure both our own future and those of the young people.”

A two-storey building is planned. The ground floor is intended to house offices and a new canteen that can seat about 100 employees. Once this is up and running, the current temporary canteen in a container can be dispensed with. The new Buschjost “Restaurant” will eventually be run by an external company, which will be a new step for us.

In a later, second step, an outdoor area with a canopy is planned for the canteen, where employees will be able to spend their breaks. For this reason, the outdoor areas are already prepared so that future construction can take place.

With the new canteen, the company intends to bring the administration and production divisions, which are physically separate on the company premises, closer together. “We hope to create a lively centre where staff can meet with colleagues from other departments – whom they might be unlikely to meet within the scope of their own jobs. They can meet and talk to each other. I regard that as very important for a good atmosphere,” explains Thomas König. A space is thus planned where employees can rest and relax during their lunch breaks.

This measure would also help to cement employee loyalty. Here Thomas König gets to the point: “A good company canteen is also a motivating factor. Good food and drink, plus pleasant conversations in an appealing setting, all this is good for motivation. Our new canteen is intended to help make Buschjost even more attractive to potential new employees.” Today a company has to pay attention to these aspects in order to attract suitable personnel. “As a company, we hope to draw people to us so strongly that they will aim to stay with us until they retire.”

The company’s training workshop is planned for the upper floor of the new building. “Each year, we take on between about seven and nine new apprentices, and they will profit greatly from this,” says Thomas König.

The new building will increase the size of the training facility as well as modernising it and allowing more and better training opportunities. “We simply have to stay up-to-date. Industry 4.0 is a catchword that everyone’s talking about. It is therefore important, right from the apprenticeship stage, that we teach modern production methods,” explains Thomas Handt, head of training for industrial professions.

For about 60% of their training time, the apprentices are involved in production. The whole of their apprenticeship period should be as practical and as varied as possible for the new employees. For this reason, the apprentices participate in the work of their chosen discipline for some of the time, while also receiving their basic training in the training workshop.

Evidence that this workshop is already well equipped can be seen from the fact that Buschjost GmbH acts as an examination centre for the metal-related disciplines it offers. This means that the apprentices and also a number of visiting candidates from other nearby companies take their examinations in the presence of an examination board from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, directly on-site. The training workshop offers “all the machines needed to cover the professional outlines.”

Apprenticeships and ongoing training have always been important at Buschjost GmbH. The company has offered apprenticeships in a diverse range of professions for over 45 years. “It has been proven that our apprentices identify to a high degree with our company, and that they make a strong contribution to the company’s success after completing their training, in both technical and management activities. Because of this, we want to offer apprenticeships under the best possible conditions,” adds Thomas König. “And personnel development is an important topic for Buschjost,” adds Thomas Handt. The success of this can be seen from his own profile. He completed an apprenticeship at Buschjost as a toolmaker and has been with the company for over three decades.

Currently there are 28 young people pursuing apprenticeships or dual curricula at Buschjost GmbH, of whom 18 are in industrial disciplines. The company aims to offer positions to all apprentices. A job offer, following on from successful completion of training, is therefore by far the rule rather than the exception.

The site of the former training workshop will be occupied by toolmaking and thermoplastics processing, which will allow new possibilities for these divisions as well. According to the plan, the extension should be ready for occupation in the third quarter of 2020.