Pfeifer sets an exclamation point in the apprenticeship

With a strategic training concept, the timber industry company Pfeifer fills the latent apprentice shortage. This way it is equally successful both among desirable young target groups as well as in expert committees.

The employment market is experiencing a substantial change. One of the consequences: the once lacking apprenticeship positions became in short time lack of apprentice personnel. Also the Tirol economy faces a crucial challenge - the company young professionals as a basic prerequisite of company growth. The Pfeifer Group with seat in Imst and eight sites in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic is one of the main players of the European wood industry has met this problematic trend for many years. The answer of wood specialists consists in a focussed initiative to promote its in-house dual professional training. With the desired effect, as showed. While somewhere else the trainee topic is becoming an imminent issue, the level of trainee and apprentices at Pfeifer is constantly high – in total 30 in the entire business group. Training for metal technology technicians, electricians and wood experts are offered. The efforts related to apprenticeship has pushed the traditional company in the first league among the local trainers. The expert jury from Tirol, well-known for its strict assignment practice, assigned to Pfeifer the awarding of “Excellent Tyrolean teaching activity” for the years 2017 - 2019 – one year before the company expected it. Also in a recent Austrian ranking of the economic magazine Trend, Pfeifer achieved a prominent position. In the rank of the 300 best employers in Austria, Pfeifer is at the 69th position, while in Tirol has conquered the fifth place.


This continuous positive development was possible because the responsible people in the competition for young talents in past years have followed a wide package of measures. “Pfeifer has a long tradition as trainer. For us it was important to give a much bigger contribution than the actual one in professional training field. And to secure qualified young professionals from of its own“, explains Sarah Kathrein, staff developed at Pfeifer. Beside the professional training, many benefits for young employees are part of the apprenticeship programme. The salary level is basically appealing – in the first apprenticeship year it is already of 620 Euro net, in the fourth training year, trainees may earn even 1,230 net Euro. Furthermore, Pfeifer own premium system rewards school performances and good results in competitions with a bonus of up to 500 net Euros. Costs of free transport ticket are paid by the employer also for tickets in Salzburg, where wood experts go to the vocational school in Kuchl. Pfeifer pays also house costs by continuing to pay the apprenticeship compensation. 


Beside the material support, the wood specialist also offers support in schooling and personality training. “For us, the best possible support of our trainees is decisive. We visit them at the vocational school and, in case of need, we care about school coaching. We give them assistance, when they need it”, says Kathrein. According to this vision, teachers favour the participation to additional seminars and courses at professional and personality training level – from the pneumatics course to the forklift course or the course to prepare the final exam. Special modules allow the acquisition of additional qualifications, as for example in automation technology. This offer goes for trainees as well as for their trainers. The participation to parents meetings, a weekly practice booklet, in which trainees write their personal insights that can be used to prepare the final apprenticeship exam - all these measures create a tight professional a social network. “Anyway I have fun in doing my job. The beauty of our company is that we as trainees receive also much support when we need something. Both for training purposes as well as for personal needs”, as Manual Venier, metal engineer at his third apprenticeship year says. 


Günther Jaritz, staff director and authorized representative for Austria at Pfeifer, considers for the professionals of tomorrow above all a long term advantage for guaranteed in terms of professional career. “If they do a good job, we can offer them a stable employment after their training. And fortunately most of them remain with us after the apprenticeship”. One of the examples related to the development chances that are possible after this training is presented by Dietmar Seelos. The current director of all sites in Imst, the representative and supervisor of 530 employees at the Imst site, has passed an apprenticeship at the company. The recent successful new training concept is also decisively based on Mister Seelos’ professional expertise

Pfeifer brings trainees in the metal civil engineering, electrical engineering and wood technology fields. Interested people may send their application to Mrs. Sarah Kathrein: