Lathe turner finds apprenticeship across the border
In the German city of Aachen, neighbouring the Netherlands, a pilot project has been launched offering lathe turners the possibility to do their apprenticeships in the Netherlands. This way students can learn new skills while enjoying a new cultural experience.
“This is a great opportunity for me to get to know a new language, people from other countries and to work as a lathe turner at the same time. I live in Erkelenz, Germany, which is about 50 kilometres from my workplace in the Netherlands. I could probably have done the same thing in Cologne, Germany, which is roughly the same in distance, but it’s more interesting to do it in the Netherlands,” says Manuel Niß, one of three German students who are involved in the pilot project.
It all started when a Dutch company contacted Egon Vanwersch, EURES Adviser at the public employment agency in Aachen, Germany, and asked if he could help them with recruitments in Germany. “They wanted to recruit German lathe turners for apprenticeships, since they were unable to find interested workers in the Netherlands” explains Egon who is now in charge of the project.
Being an integral part of the German school system, the apprenticeships are regulated by the government. “But I thought why not open this up for German students and give them work as well as broaden their horizons”, explains Egon,
For the future Egon hopes to offer similar apprenticeships for other professions such as construction mechanics.
For anyone wanting to learn a trade or a craft, the usual way to gain experience is by doing an apprenticeship for a number of years at a company. Doing an apprenticeship in the Netherlands instead of Germany also has certain benefits for the lathe turners. Dutch companies hosting German students have to comply with German law and be approved by the German Chamber of Commerce, which means that apprentices have the same rights as their fellow students back in Germany. However they also enjoy the rights of the labour laws in the Netherlands, including a minimum salary that is around EUR 250 higher than the minimum salary for apprenticeships in Germany. On top of that, their travel expenses are covered and they get a paid annual holiday allowance.
“This is a really good opportunity for me and I can really recommend others to do the same. It feels quite cool, actually, to have started an international career at the age of 20,” concludes Manuel Niß.
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