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Bilfinger sets an example in apprentice training: Bilfinger education GmbH lays foundation for expansion of Group-wide workforce development

  • Future-oriented apprenticeship concept to counteract shortage of skilled workers
  • Bilfinger education GmbH established as central apprenticeship entity for Germany
  • The concept is to serve as a blueprint for other Bilfinger regions and investments in training and education
  • Opening ceremony with over 200 apprentices in Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Message by Hubertus Heil, German Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs


Mannheim / Herne, Germany. Bilfinger, Germany's leading industrial services provider, is further strengthening its role as a solution provider for the process industry. With the establishment of a dedicated legal entity, Bilfinger education GmbH, the Group is bundling the conceptual, technical and organizational design of apprenticeship training in numerous occupational fields, thus making a clear commitment to Germany as an industrial hub.

The shortage of skilled workers is a growing challenge for many industries and companies. A lack of qualified employees can not only affect productivity, but also impede growth and innovation. Demographic change and the upcoming retirement of the baby boomer generation are exacerbating the situation.

To counteract this trend and at the same time meet the requirements of today's apprentices, Bilfinger education GmbH, headquartered in Heinsberg, Germany, as the central apprenticeship entity for Germany, will promote standardized, high-quality in-house apprenticeship training. In the future, apprentices will be recruited centrally and will receive even more intensive and qualified support. Technical training will continue to take place at the respective German locations of the Bilfinger Group - currently at 56 operative sites throughout Germany.

To mark the start of the major training initiative, around 200 Bilfinger apprentices from all over Germany met today at the Bilfinger subsidiary in Herne. The Federal Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, sent his congratulations: “You have made an excellent choice! We do not just need master students in Germany. We also need master craftspeople. For those who not only want to swot up during their training, but also want to get actively involved, dual vocational training is exactly the right thing. It combines theory and practice and stands for great career opportunities and a successful professional future. [...] I congratulate all those responsible and the organizers on the opening of the new apprenticeship center! It shows that you are serious about recruiting skilled workers and that you are willing to go new ways to do so. And with good reason. Because nobody knows better than you do: Today's apprentices are tomorrow's skilled workers.”

Thomas Schulz, Group CEO of Bilfinger, said at the ceremony: “I am delighted that we are celebrating together today here in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's strongest economic state, at our Herne location. Training is a sustainable task, and well-trained young people are the basis for future and sustainable corporate success. Together with our apprentices, we want to tap further potential. Together, we are working on a blueprint for the global training of young people at Bilfinger. This is more than just a training center, and it is a matter close to my heart to make Bilfinger a 'place to be' for current and future apprentices all over the world.”

In addition to the classic apprenticeship profiles, the new concept also offers the possibility of an uncomplicated transfer to other occupational fields within the Group, increased support for young people with special needs and the exchange of best practices between trainers (‘train the trainer’).

The number of apprenticeships at Bilfinger in Germany is to be gradually increased from the current level of around 250 to 400. Thomas Schulz comments: “The decarbonization and digitalization of industrial plants require the highest level of technical expertise with a simultaneous focus on efficiency and sustainability. Bilfinger guarantees professional and high-quality training management to master this challenge.”

Bilfinger is training more than 90 apprentices at 28 locations in North Rhine-Westphalia in areas such as plant and industrial mechanics, electronics and technical product design. At the Herne site, for example, Bilfinger is training industrial insulators and scaffolders. At the same time, 18 prospective plant mechanics in Dortmund are supporting the fabrication of highly complex piping systems for the nuclear steam and water supply of the British Hinkley Point C power plant.

Moderator Kassia Ecker, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board Stephan Brückner, Group CEO Thomas Schulz, CHRO Nicole Herrfurth and Marco Schmitz MdL (CDU)

Katharina Schönebeck
Manager Group Communications
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