In the IT basement
My two fellow trainees, Oleksii and Paolo, are the people I am most familiar with at the Stans site. To meet Oleksii, I go downstairs from my reception desk to the “IT basement”. The former basement was renovated shortly before I joined BWB and is now a large, light-flooded office. In one corner there is a drinks fridge with Mate bottles, various electronic components are on the tables and a display with information about the IT infrastructure is mounted on the wall. I meet Oleksii in a small printer room, which he likes to use to set up laptops for new employees.
Age: 16 years
Apprenticeship: ICT specialist EFZ in 2nd year of apprenticeship
Self-description: Oleksii describes himself as an upbeat, motivated and friendly person – which is how his line manager would have described him.
Highlights: The apprentices’ trip was an unforgettable experience for Oleksii. The apprentices visited BWB-Iten AG and had fun playing adventure golf and in the escape room.
BWB experience: Oleksii particularly appreciates BWB’s flexibility in terms of projects and working hours.
Childhood dream: Oleksii dreamed of becoming an architect. As a child, he drew a lot and enjoyed working with numbers.
In the workshop
Now I'm looking forward to talking to Paolo. As a practicing mechanic, he also works at BWB-Betschart AG. High up in the workshop, in the back corner, where maintenance work is carried out. After going through the whole factory, I discovered Paolo making a sketch for a holder. He designed this on behalf of the marketing department for the "Swiss Production Forum" industry trade fair.
Age: 18 years
Apprenticeship: Mechanical technician EBA in 2nd year of apprenticeship
Self-description: With a twinkle in his eye, Paolo says he is nice and helpful, but his superior could sometimes describe him as "annoying".
Activities: The majority of his tasks are related to craft activities. Nevertheless, his area of responsibility also includes various activities that are not related to manual work. One example of this is the creation of sketches for different aluminum parts.
Apprentice highlights: One special moment of his apprenticeship was a trip to Holland, where they visited another BWB site. The free time during the trip, in which they were able to design their own program, was an additional highlight.
Future plans: After his apprenticeship, Paolo plans to train as a service technician.
On the anodising line
Next, I would like to find out what former apprentices do at BWB. To do this, I go to the production department, from where I have a clear view of the newly built cafeteria. I see numerous treated and untreated aluminum parts from a wide range of industrial customers, from mechanical engineering to aviation. At the anodising plant, I spot Amin, who is using the crane to transport freshly anodised parts out of the bath.
Age: 24 years
Completed training: Surface technician EBA
Self-description: Amin describes himself as motivated, ambitious and friendly, which is consistent with the impression of his supervisor.
Application process at BWB: Amin began his career at BWB with a one-month vacation job. Although BWB later advertised a position for a surface practitioner, it had already been filled before Amin was able to apply. He then decided to do a one-year internship at BWB-Betschart AG. After completing his internship, he started his apprenticeship.
Working atmosphere at BWB: The relationship between colleagues at BWB is very good. Everyone is friendly, helpful and the working atmosphere is pleasant.
Transition from apprentice to fully qualified employee: Amin found the transition seamless. Thanks to his one-year internship and two-year apprenticeship at BWB, he was already familiar with the team and the work processes. Amin is responsible for preparing the tasks for his colleagues. This includes sorting the incoming aluminum parts, checking their urgency and preparing and assembling the batches.
At the BWB in Schlieren
Amin's career fascinates me, and I set out to find other former apprentices who have continued their careers within the BWB Group. In the HR department, I find out about Romina: she completed her training at BWB-Iten AG and now works as an expert in forwarding and quality management at BWB in Schlieren. I go back to my desk and look forward to an informative phone call with Romina.
Age: 22 years
Completed training: Surface coater EFZ
Self-description: Romina describes herself as a quiet, reserved and ambitious person. These qualities were also emphasized by her supervisor.
Special features at BWB: Romina appreciates the family atmosphere at BWB, where everyone is on a first-name basis and supports each other.
After completing her apprenticeship at BWB-Iten AG, Romina was given the opportunity to expand her professional experience at BWB in Schlieren and gain further expertise in surface technology.
Personal and professional development: Romina has improved her customer contact skills, especially on the phone. As an all-rounder, she is familiar with a wide range of tasks at the compact plant in Schlieren, from logistics to the coating process on the highly specialized Ematal system.
In the digital worlds of the municipal association
Training forms a good basis for a future career, within or outside BWB. The IT department told me about Eva, a former IT apprentice. After completing her training at BWB, Eva embarked on new career paths and took on new challenges. I am lucky and can reach her by phone while she is working in the community association. I learn more about my time here at the company.
Age: 30 years
Completed training: Computer scientist in systems engineering EFZ
Self-description: Eva is a reserved, interested and motivated person. Her supervisor at the time also shares this description.
Experience at BWB: Eva is grateful that BWB gave her a chance, even though she was already 25 years old when she started her apprenticeship. She particularly appreciated the opportunity to get to know all BWB locations and to be able to supervise them.
Skills learned: During her training, Eva acquired specific knowledge about networks, especially in dealing with people and problem solving.
Main tasks during the apprenticeship: Eva's main responsibilities included creating new users, setting up notebooks and looking after printers.
Within Shell AG
Finally, I am of course also interested in what has become of my predecessors, the KV apprentices. My line manager tells me about Martina. A few years ago, she worked at the reception desk of BWB-Betschart AG, where I now work. She made an excellent impression and has left nothing but positive memories. After a few attempts, I was able to reach Martina by phone and learn more about her exciting three years at BWB.
Age: 27 years
Completed training: Commercial clerk EFZ
Self-description: Martina describes herself as a quiet, reserved and well-organized person. These are also the words her former supervisor and trainer would use to characterize her.
Main tasks during the apprenticeship: Martina took on a variety of tasks during her training. Her time in the reception area was particularly formative, where she dealt with accounts receivable, made telephone calls, received visitors and processed the mail. She also had the opportunity to work in freight forwarding, accounts payable and purchasing.
Reasons for the change after the apprenticeship: After Martina had not found a permanent position after her apprenticeship, she took the opportunity for further training. She decided to complete her vocational baccalaureate following her training, which led to her decision to leave the company.
Experience at BWB: Martina appreciated the interesting services at BWB as well as the large projects and collaborations. She found it exciting to get to know the company's various locations. One point of criticism was the outdated premises during her time, which have since been modernized.
Together into the future
I am aware that my research only provides a small insight into the world of apprentices at BWB, as I was only able to portray a selection of apprenticeships and apprentices in the time available. Nevertheless, my research has shown me how diverse BWB and my employees are. I realized that everyone has their own strengths, dreams and ambitions that make the company what it is today.
I, Fabian, am proud to be part of this team and thank my colleagues for sharing their stories with me and now also here. Our future is bright and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow together.