Half a century of STOCKO training workshop
A look back at the good old days.
STOCKO Contact, a company with exemplary character. Our medium-sized family company can look back on 120 years of successful existence and has reason to look back in a very special way in 2021. The training workshop, which opened in 1971, has already existed for half a century.
There have been trainees at STOCKO since the beginning of the 1970s. Around 250 young people started their industrial training at the company since its beginnings – first toolmakers, then plastic formers. Today, tool makers in the field of stamping technology, process mechanics for plastics and rubber technology, industrial mechanics for precision equipment construction (Bachelor of Engineering) as well as machine and system operators with a focus on metal and plastics technology are trained in the commercial sector. For a long time, STOCKO has also been offering the opportunity for qualified and future-oriented training in the commercial sector. For the most part, the next generation is given a direct perspective in the company.
Our employee Karl-Heinz Scherer is one of the people who witnessed the beginnings of the STOCKO training workshop as a young toolmaker apprentice from August 2nd, 1971. Its founding was “a wise and forward-looking decision”, says 64-year-old Mr. Scherer (tool design). Where else could you have found your skilled workers for the special requirements in the company?” In the first three months, you mainly stood at the vice and learned how to handle a wide variety of files from the bottom up, then you were taught how to use the various machine tools, such as lathes and planing machines, etc., until the end of the first year of your apprenticeship. The eight-hour day of an apprentice at that time also included the duty of picking up snacks in the first year of the apprenticeship.
In the second and third year of the apprenticeship, the trainees switched to the different departments. Here, the trainee was assigned an “apprentice” – his personal contact person / trainer.
“The training from the second year of apprenticeship was already tailored to the needs of the company,” Scherer recalls: “We were busy in many ways and already worked for the entire company.”
What you have learned is immediately put into practice
Much of what had to be laboriously done by hand at the time has now been taken over by high-quality machines, but you have to know how to operate them first. And this requires a wide range of knowledge of these machines, as well as the associated peripherals and software. A budding toolmaker today has to know everything that a toolmaker had to be able to do in the past. In addition, he has to be as familiar with CNC technology as he is with control technology. During their training, the STOCKO company trainees also go through numerous internal departments, such as tool making and tool service, moulding technology, the stamping department, injection moulding, quality management, the physics laboratory, and maintenance. Here, the young people already gain a lot of practical experience in handling technically sophisticated machines and equipment.
First of all, the trainees in industrial and technical professions learn practical basic skills, such as marking out, filing, measuring, and drilling. Later in the training, more and more machining processes are added, such as turning, milling, and grinding. Each subject area is supplemented by preparatory theoretical lessons in specialist knowledge, mathematics, and occupational safety. Project work serves to impart skills relevant to the exams. This includes, among other things, planning, performing, and checking various activities. In the further course of the training, the conventional machine activities that have already been learned are expanded with computer-controlled CNC technology.
Depending on the occupation, the trainees switch to the internal departments either from the second or third year of training. There they are instructed and supervised in their daily work by our training officers. In some professional fields, we also offer young people dual studies in the neighbouring cities of Cologne and Aachen.
Those who learn at STOCKO today will, according to the commercial manager Kristina Haas, soon take on tasks independently. “Our trainees are allowed to work in the day-to-day business relatively early, are given intensive support and are therefore able to quickly put their knowledge into practice. With us, the entire company is actually the training workshop.”
When asked about the importance of promoting young talent, Haas clarifies: “It is important to us to get young people excited about our industry at an early stage and to bind them to the company. Our goal is to train primarily for ourselves. Because it is very difficult to find qualified skilled workers with an electrical engineering background on the open market.”
Almost all trainees are taken over
STOCKO Contact GmbH & Co. KG continues to employ almost 100% of its trainees after the end of their training period. As a rule, a trainee who has completed vocational training receives a permanent employment contract. Every year, six or more young people are hired for vocational training – a number that, in the words of Stefan Schmitz (Head of Training), makes it possible to specifically address the needs of the individual. And he adds: “Here you are valued from the start, and you get a lot of support. We have a very familiar atmosphere with one another.”
In August 2021, nine new trainees started their training at STOCKO.
In addition, it should not be left unmentioned that in addition to the commercial, technical occupations in the training workshop, the following apprenticeships have been carried out at STOCKO for several years:
- Industrial clerical officer
- Office management clerical officer
- Electronics technician for industrial systems
- Physics laboratory assistant
- Materials tester
- Warehouse logistics specialist
- IT specialists for system integration
Archive photo data:
Those were “the good old days”: An apprentice working on a milling machine