Energie AG’s in-house apprenticeship program gives us an important competitive advantage. Along with the current shortage of skilled workers, there has been increased competition for capable young people among employers – even in the apprenticeship market. As a result, the skilled worker shortage has now been compounded by an apprentice shortage.

Since 1943, 1,490 apprentices have successfully completed their training and become top-qualified specialists in their fields. About half of these are still employed in the enterprise today. Nineteen young people, including two young women, began their electrical engineering apprenticeships at Energie AG in September 2019. In keeping with our mission to promote diversity, apprentices of immigrant descent and asylum seekers also have their place in the Energie AG Group.

Energie AG has expanded and will continue to expand our marketing activities in this area (trade fair appearances, media presence, folders, videos, etc.), aiming for success over the increased competition in the coming years to take on the most capable young people as apprentices. These activities will particularly focus on also boosting the interest of young women in our apprenticeship programs.

Owing to our cooperation with mandatory-attendance schools (electrical engineering polytechnic course, Powergirls, Girls Day), around 150 school students get to experience Energie AG's apprenticeship workshop up close every year and try out how it feels to be an apprentice for a few days. In line with the company’s aspiration to actively rise to the challenge of rapid technical development, the apprentices’ workshop includes high-tech equipment – as can be seen, for instance, from our purchase of a state-of-the-art CO2 laser. The virtual tour of the apprentices’ workshop in Gmunden with 3D glasses also appeals to young people at apprenticeship fairs.

The subject of the “digital transformation” has been afforded particularly priority in the apprenticeship programs. Apprentices are introduced to the digital transformation, from basic knowledge of digital technology to CNC technology, PLC programming, 3D printers and smart home digital control on tablet devices.

Safety and health are especially important to Energie AG in our apprentice training. The Group offers professional workshops and seminars to provide guidance to young people on topics such as preventing addiction and using the Internet safely.

The most important milestone for an apprentice is the skilled worker examination at the Austrian Economic Chambers. The quality of our training was also documented in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, receiving an outstanding result. Between them, the 14 current graduates earned 12 distinction grades in vocational school and 13 good or outstanding results in their final examinations.

For many years, Energie AG apprentices have been testing their talents against their counterparts from other companies in the largest apprentice competition in Upper Austria. 777 apprentices from 105 businesses took part in the 2019 apprentice competition. The best apprentice from Energie AG came in third place in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.

Another achievement in 2018 was the establishment of the “z.l.ö. – zukunft.lehre.österreich” association (Future Apprenticeships Austria) at Energie AG’s initiative. The role of president is currently occupied by its creator, Chief Executive Officer KR Prof. Ing. DDr. Werner Steinecker MBA. The association’s objective is to strengthen the image of apprenticeships in Austria. Joining forces with the other members of the association, Energie AG aims to restore the status that apprenticeships deserve as a key foundation of business and, in turn, of society and the future at large. In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the Group worked meticulously to design and advertise an Austria-wide apprenticeship platform and an apprenticeship-related image campaign aimed at the target group.