Energie AG's in-house apprenticeship programme is an important competitive advantage. Since 1943, 1506 apprentices have successfully completed their training and become top-qualified specialists in their fields. About half of these are still employed in the Company today. In September 2020, 21 young people (previous year: 19), among them two women, began their apprenticeships at Energie AG in the areas of electrical engineering, metals engineering and automotive engineering. An additional three apprentices started their training to become office administrators. 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 its marketing activities in this area (media presence, folders, videos, 3D tours of the apprentice workshop etc.), aiming for success over the increased competition to take on the most capable young people as apprentices. In order to become even more attractive as a company that offers apprenticeship programmes to girls, new and modern accommodation for young women was constructed.

Owing to a cooperation with mandatory-attendance schools (electrical engineering polytechnic course, Powergirls, Girls Day), in the 2019/2020 fiscal year around 130 school students got to experience Energie AG's apprenticeship workshop and tried out how it feels to be an apprentice for a few days (previous year: 150). The training workshop at Energie AG in Gmunden boasts the latest technical equipment and can be visited on a virtual tour using 3D goggles.

The apprenticeship programmes place a special focus on digitalisation. Apprentices are introduced to the digital transformation, from basic knowledge of digital technology to CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) technology, PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) programming, 3D printers and smart home digital control on tablet devices. Once apprentices have successfully completed their probationary period, they are provided with their own tablets, which they can use at work as well as privately.

Safety and health are especially important to Energie AG in its apprentice training. The Company 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 training was also documented in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, receiving an outstanding result. Between them, the 16 current graduates (previous year: 14) earned twelve distinction grades in vocational school and eleven good or outstanding results in their final examinations.

The capacity of the training workshop for electrical engineering and metals engineering will be expanded to the possible maximum. This will allow a total of 22 apprentices to start their career at Energie AG in September 2021. This means that the Group not only continues to be a reliable apprenticeship workplace for young people in Upper Austria, but also that it will offer top-quality training to even more apprentices than in the years before.

Another achievement in 2018 was the establishment of the “zukunft.lehre.österreich” association Future Apprenticeships Austria (ZLÖ) at Energie AG’s initiative. The association’s objective is to strengthen the image of apprenticeships in Austria. The role of president is currently occupied by its creator, Chief Executive Officer KR Prof. Ing. DDr. Werner Steinecker MBA. 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. Since 2018, we have worked meticulously to design and advertise an Austria-wide apprenticeship platform and an apprenticeship-related image campaign aimed at the target group. A package aimed at safeguarding apprenticeship capacities will make financial aid to the tune of EUR 2,000 available for each new apprentice accepted by the Company.