The much-lamented shortage of skilled workers, especially in the skilled trades and in construction professions, is difficult to understand given the current training and employment conditions: the cliché that construction professions are only for men has long been outdated. Companies are also advertising for female trainees, whose dual training courses between theory and practice offer good career and earning opportunities. It is not uncommon to find apprenticeships ranging from secondary school graduates to graduates with a degree in management, and a number of regulations to protect employees, such as clearly regulated working hours in an average 40-hour week, now make construction professions attractive. Even the concerns about being physically inferior to men in manual work can be refuted by female bricklayers and construction technicians: for example, there are now specifications that the maximum lifting load of material without help is 25 kilos - for everything else there are machines and cranes.
This was not the only thing that was new for the interested learning partners of learning group 9 of the Stetten school centre, who visited the Bildungszentrum Bau in Sigmaringen yesterday with their learning guide Marco Heller. The institution trains skilled workers for structural and civil engineering and scores points in guided tours for school classes with vivid practical examples from daily work, where one can get a precise picture of the requirements of the occupational field: How many tonnes of load can concrete withstand before it breaks? How do you keep masonry pointed arches from collapsing? How does it feel to be a bricklayer when you have just completed your second day on the job and are already building a wall?
One or two teachers would like to see so much rapt attention during a presentation in their lessons...:
"Last week there was a contest, the best 6 bricklaying apprentices competed against each other," reports Mr. Lehner, who leads the tour. "They had to build a wall in 6 hours according to a 2d plan. Then they were judged on how neatly they worked, how nicely the wall was aligned, and so on - with a grade of 1.6, the winner was able to rejoice at being crowned the best bricklayer in Baden-Württemberg and taking part in the national competition!"
And, would building professions be an option for one or the other learning partner?
"Absolutely," confirms Marco Heller. "Construction jobs are suitable for anyone who likes to work with their hands. You are often outside, at the end of the day you see what you have done, unlike in office jobs. An additional incentive can be that the months of January and February are often free because of bad weather."
There are no grade requirements for an application. An internship is a good way to gain initial experience.