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FST Creates Customized High-Skill Occupation
Cara Mia Pesta is training for a profession that didn’t even exist a year ago. The new employee at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) has set her sights on work as a manufacturing metrology technician.
At the company’s Kufstein facility, Pesta is specializing in precisely the skills that will move it forward. As sealing technology has progressed, the demands on measurement and testing have been rising. So have the skill levels that are needed. But it is increasingly difficult to venture out into the labor market and find staff with the expert knowledge that FST requires. To solve the problem, the company has gone on the offensive and established a new skilled profession in Austria. It is an extraordinary solution to a problem – a shortage of skilled staff – that FST shares with many companies worldwide.
Daniel Stocker, Team Leader at Measurement and Testing Technology at Freudenberg in Kufstein, explains the initiative this way: “At our site, the average seniority is thirteen years. Our long-time employees have continued to build up their skills over the years to meet growing requirements. But if they resign or retire, it’s hard for us to fill in the gap. The few applicants with the right training and practical experience are also being pursued by other companies.”
To come to stay
Stocker therefore came up with the idea of inventing a new skilled occupation: manufacturing metrology technician. The goal was to align the training closely to real-life practices at FST. And it was also supposed to provide skills for future technologies such as automation and Industry 4.0. Tanja Hofer, the trainee coach in Kufstein, brought Stocker’s proposal to the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. It surveyed various industrial companies, and they unanimously welcomed the notion of a new skilled occupation. Then everything went very quickly: Hofer and Stocker worked jointly with representatives of other companies and measurement labs to define the training content. The Chamber of Commerce fed it into guidelines and presented it to the ministry for approval.The result: Since July 2020, Austria has had a new skilled occupation: manufacturing metrology technician. And in October, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies in Kufstein hired Cara Mia Pesta as the first trainee in the specialty – just one year after the idea first emerged. Stocker puts it this way. “Our hope was that the trainees would quickly build up their knowledge and add to our productivity – and the plan is working out with Cara Pesta.”
This article originally appeared in ESSENTIAL, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ corporate magazine that covers, trends, industries and new ideas. To read more stories like this, click here .
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