Project LAf – How We Support High-Achieving Apprentices
The Entry Programs team supports our apprentices throughout their apprenticeship. To help apprentices – who are selected based on their excellent accomplishments – to reach their potential early on, we have launched the LAf project (“Leistungsstarke Auszubildende fördern” – Supporting High-Achieving Apprentices).
This four-month project focuses on the personal and social skills of our youngest employees. They work independently on an interdisciplinary project, build on their personal strengths, and receive individual support and advice.
The 2022 project involves developing and making a podcast – including performing a market and topic analysis, defining the technical framework, and presenting it.
The project is run by Julia from the Entry Programs team. As the person responsible for the program, she supports our apprentices on their journey to becoming IT specialists, from recruitment through to their final exam. She is responsible for designing and planning the apprenticeship.
Julia, how are apprentices supported at Schwarz Dienstleistungen?
Supporting all our apprentices is an important part of our day-to-day work. We have regular catch-up meetings, which enables us to provide close, ongoing support. In cooperation with the relevant departments, our team also supports all apprentices throughout their apprenticeship with training and workshops, extensive exam preparation, and regular meetings. Colleagues in our IT and technology training workshop also play a huge role in the support and development of our apprentices.
How did the “Supporting High-Achieving Apprentices” (LAf) project come about?
Up until 2020, our high-achieving apprentices had the opportunity to go on a placement abroad. The pandemic meant that this opportunity was sadly no longer available, so we wanted to offer our apprentices an alternative. And so the “Supporting High-Achieving Apprentices” (LAf) project was born.
What is the aim of the project and why is it so important?
The aim is to help high-achieving apprentices reach their potential early on and teach them important skills that will support their professional development, and in doing so secure the retention of young talent for the future.
The apprentices receive more intensive support with their development during the project and have the opportunity to hone their skills in many different areas, including project management.
One apprentice who benefited from this support last year is Philipp. Philipp is now in the third year of his apprenticeship to become an officer manager.
Philipp, what experience did you gain during the project and how did you find it?
I found the project really interesting. You learn a lot and get a detailed insight into project management at an early stage in your career. Over the course of the three months, we apprentices were given a lot of responsibility and learned how to work in a structured way both independently and within a team in order to incorporate all areas of a project: from the meticulous planning and organization to the procurement of materials and coordinating with other internal departments, external contacts, and organizations, and of course ensuring we met deadlines.
The project was extremely well organized and our contact partners were always there to help with any questions or issues that we had. The company has shown a lot of trust in us apprentices by letting us participate in this project – and this motivated us to make sure that we made it a success.
What did you learn from the project that you will apply to your future work?
I was involved in all phases of the project and gained lots of new skills, such as budgeting, adhering to compliance rules, and creating schedules. The project also improves your teamwork skills – the cooperation among all project participants in our program was exceptional.
Interested in embarking on an apprenticeship at Schwarz Dienstleistungen too? Then apply now!