For years, Evonik has been committed to recruiting a large number of specialist employees from the graduates of its own training programs. Applicants can choose from a wide spectrum of occupations, ranging from chemical technician and laboratory chemist to industrial engineer, specialist warehouse clerk, cook, and firefighter. In 2018 a total of 547 young men and women were accepted as trainees by the Group. Of these, 435 will receive qualifications for Evonik companies, and the remaining 112 will be trained by Evonik on commission for other companies. “By training our new employees in our own qualification programs, we are safeguarding Evonik’s long-term competitiveness. The dual system of vocational training is an advantage of Germany as a business location, and it needs to be intensified,” says Thomas Wessel, Evonik’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Relations Director.
There is strong demand for the Group’s training programs, with 18 people on average applying for each training slot. The proportion of trainees at Evonik is above the industry average at more than seven percent. That makes Evonik one of the biggest industrial training institutions in Germany. The Group offers training courses in a total of 21 apprenticeship trades and 17 workstudy programs at 16 locations. Training programs for commercial trades are still among the most popular choices, and the number of applicants for traineeships as chemical technicians also remains high.
For years now, there has been a stable ratio of about 70 percent male and 30 percent female applicants. Despite the dwindling number of “typically female” apprenticeship trades in commercial fields, the number of young female applicants has not decreased. This means it has been possible to interest more young women high school graduates in formerly “typical” male occupations.
A huge advantage of the training programs at Evonik is that since 2016 the Group has offered program graduates permanent employment if they have demonstrated excellent skills and a commitment to top performance. On account of Evonik’s increased need for trained workers, in past years there has been a significant increase in permanent hires.
For the past 17 years, Evonik’s “Starting a Career” program has encouraged young people without sufficient qualifications to apply for traineeships. Since 2015 the program has also been giving young refugees an opportunity to enter the vocational training system. After completing this program, 80 percent of the participants have been able to enter a training program at Evonik or a partner company. During the first 14 years of the program, all of the participants were able to successfully complete their training.