Interview with ENT-TRO GmbH
Skilled workers in the refrigeration industry are in short supply. The job description for Mechatronics Technician for refrigeration technology is poorly known and does not exactly rank in top position for apprenticeships in demand. So we, in the industry, still have our work cut out to improve this situation.
Our long-term customer and partner ENT-TRO GmbH has recognized this and is active when it comes to training for Mechatronics Technicians for refrigeration techno-logy. Find out more about their activities in this area in the interview with Managing Director Thomas Vian.
Since when has ENT-TRO been training?
For all intents and purposes ENT-TRO has been training people since the company was founded in 1995. But from 2010 to 2015 we only had a few trainees. For this reason, we have been actively looking for trainees since 2015.
How many trainees do you currently employ?
We currently have nine young men training to become mechatronics engineers for refrigeration technology – that is, three apprentices per apprenticeship year. Out of 40 employees, that’s not a bad proportion. By the way, every year we are newly motivated to take on board a young woman for the apprenticeship. Unfortunately we have not been successful so far… but we are not giving up.
You said “active trainee search”. What does that mean? Where do you find your trainees?
We attend regional training fairs three to four times a year. It quickly became clear to us that there was no point in just standing there and hoping that the interested parties would come up to you of their own accord… that rarely happens. We directly address 60 percent of the people who walk past us – even if it is just to say something like “Don’t you want to learn about something really cool?”. We also often talk to the parents of the young people. This is very effective as they usually have a great influence on their “children”.
Once or twice a year we take part in the training day at a secondary technical school in our area. As a rule, we take on board one trainee here per year of apprenticeship.
If someone is interested in the job, what happens next?
Anyone who is interested in the job can do an internship with us. Usually three to five days are enough to get the interns keen as mustard. This is almost certainly also due to the fact that we have a really great team of trainees and employees.
You have been very active in social media his year. How did it come to this?
Given that no training fairs have been able to take place during the coronavirus and since social media is in any case interesting for the younger generation, we created profiles on Facebook and Instagram. We also shot a training video and advertised it on Facebook, and within a very short time we had 25,000 views.
What special services do you offer the trainees?
Good pay, a pool of vehicles that the trainees can use and of course high-quality tools and work clothes.
Our “Apprentice Friday” takes place once a month. Our trainer Florian Hochreuther trains the trainees in various topics – mostly theory and practice combined, because we have a CO2 training unit where what has been learned can be put into practice.
Every now and then we organize trips like the one to TEKO in September. Our trainees were able to get an insight into TEKO production. In this respect, the subject of “Compressor Diagnostics”, in which the compressors and their individual parts were carefully examined, was of particular interest.
We also organize a trainee excursion once a year, where we can spend time together away from work and do something enjoyable.
What are the future prospects for your trainees?
We have a very high take-on rate of 90 percent. Of course, we would like the apprentices to remain part of our team at the end of their training.
Thank you for talking to us, Mr. Vian! It was very interesting to hear how much commitment you show when it comes to training and we hope that many more companies in the refrigeration industry will do the same. Because we all want our industry to be better known by and more interesting for young people!
- Refrigeration and air conditioning company founded in 1993 in Fürth, Germany
- 40 employees, including 9 trainees.
- Sectors: Industry, trade and building control systems.
- Highlights: Planning, execution, support and maintenance of energy-efficient refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems