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The traditional party, held under the patronage of the honorary chairman of the supervisory board, Norbert Rethmann, and organised to welcome REMONDIS’ new apprentices, was a smaller affair this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 27 young people from a variety of apprenticeship courses were invited to attend the event in the foyer of REMONDIS’ head office building in Lünen to welcome them to the company – with appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures maintained at all times.
Things are not easy at the moment with the coronavirus pandemic causing the German economy to shrink by between 5.6% and 10%. Indeed, there has been nothing like it since the Second World War. The impact has been massive on many industries, especially on sectors that depend on people getting together – such as tourism, transport services (local, regional and national) and aircraft construction as well as all those involved in organising cultural and sports events. In contrast, sectors delivering essential services, i.e. services that must be provided to keep public life running smoothly, have officially been given ‘key worker’ status by the German government. These include the health care sector as well as the recycling industry and, consequently, REMONDIS as one of the leading companies providing recycling and water management services to its municipal, commercial and industrial customers.
You just need to take a look at the way the German economy has developed since the second quarter of this year, when the pandemic first hit the country, to know that it could not be taken for granted that companies would continue offering apprenticeship courses. Expecting to face a deep recession, many companies – both large and small – have held back planned investments, furloughed their staff and frozen or even reduced the number of apprentices on their payroll. REMONDIS and its sister companies Rhenus and SARIA have braced themselves against this trend and steadfastly continued to train young people – an important cornerstone in their strategy to counteract skills shortages and ensure their industries have a sustainable future.
Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the REMONDIS Group, welcoming this year’s intake of apprentices to the company
apprentices are currently learning a profession at the RETHMANN Group
Training young talent is, REMONDIS believes, one of the most promising ways of achieving this. All in all, REMONDIS offers apprenticeship courses in over 30 commercial and industrial/technical professions. These young people are taught additional skills on top of the standard content of their courses. In 2019, for example, the company began a campaign to teach apprentices about the potential risks they may face during their everyday work. Speakers and specialists travelled to 15 different company locations to hold workshops and raise awareness about health and safety in the workplace. Both the fact that REMONDIS has been presented with numerous apprenticeship awards over the years and that its apprentices have won many different competitions are a clear sign that it offers high quality courses. LWG Lausitzer Wasser, a collaboration between the City of Cottbus and REMONDIS Aqua, for example, has trained ‘Germany’s best plant mechanic apprentice’ on seven different occasions. There was also a big success at the German Championship for Industrial Insulators in 2019: the winner of the competition was an apprentice from XERVON for the third year running.
Looking at the RETHMANN firms and associated companies excluding Transdev (public transport), then a total of 2,100 young people are currently doing an apprenticeship within the Group, 590 of whom began their course at the beginning of this apprenticeship year on 01 August. If Transdev, the Group’s newest associated company, is added to these figures then this number rises to 2,194 apprentices. Unlike many other medium-sized businesses, therefore, REMONDIS is continuing to pursue its robust apprenticeship programme.
To find out more about apprenticeships at REMONDIS go to remondis-karriere.de/en
REMONDIS, the company in the family-run Group with the longest history, offers the most apprenticeship jobs: a total of 1,273 people are learning a profession there, 406 of whom began this August. Its sister company Rhenus currently employs 748 apprentices (166 newcomers in 2020). SARIA SE & CO. KG, an international company based in Selm, has 79 young people at its firm doing an apprenticeship, 18 of whom started this year.
RETHMANN owns a 34% share in the French Transdev Group, one of the world’s biggest providers of public transport services. 94 apprentices started an apprenticeship at a Transdev business in Germany this year. And they all have excellent chances of being taken on at the end of their course as most of the services that the REMONDIS Group offer are essential, even when the economy is going through a difficult period. So the only question that remains is what professions these young people are most interested in. The trend seen in past years continues unchanged at REMONDIS this year as well. Once again, the truck driver apprenticeship course attracted the biggest group of newcomers (337 apprentices), followed by those wishing to become industrial management assistants (175 apprentices) and office management assistants (94 apprentices). Courses for future chemical technicians, mechatronics engineers and other technical professions also proved to be popular.
REMONDIS’ core business focuses on delivering a wide range of essential services covering the fields of recycling, municipal and industrial services and water management. This means that, even during the Covid crisis, the company can continue to offer apprenticeships with strong career prospects in the future-proof sectors: sustainability, climate action and resource conservation. Many of REMONDIS’ divisions have already begun accepting applications for next year’s courses. Those interested can apply online. They can also take part in a self-assessment test on the company’s careers website, remondis-karriere.de, to discover which types of job best suit their qualifications and potential. What’s more, REMONDIS can also be found on Instagram where it presents its apprenticeship and degree courses and provides an insight into a variety of professions. Life will continue after Covid and a good apprenticeship is the best way to carve out a positive future.