There’s no question about it: choosing a career is not easy. You think back and forth, and often you don’t get anywhere. Career counsellors then strongly recommend doing an internship. Internships are also an integral part of learning at school. René Marquardt from Augustdorf, now 18 years old and a first-year apprentice at the local joinery Wißbrok, attended the Erich-Kästner-Hauptschule at the time. A total of three self-selected day internships were on the curriculum: “I was in a kindergarten, at the vet’s, and in a car repair shop,” the young man says, “but none of that was for me.” So the next three-week internship would be with his father?! – a metalworker?! René Marquardt couldn’t really imagine that either.
Career counsellors recommend using leisure activities as a guide when choosing an internship to get ideas. René had already worked a lot with wood at home, sawing in the forest and chopping firewood. So in November 2016, he went to the Augustdorf carpentry workshop Wißbrok for three weeks. After the three weeks, the young man not only had a wooden footstool ready, but also his application documents for a carpentry apprenticeship in the company. “It can work like that,” enthuses boss Jens Wißbrok, who is firmly convinced that an internship serves both parties well. “The young people realise quite soon what work is behind a job description. And I notice in two or three days whether the applicant fits into our team and is talented in his or her work. That was absolutely the case here right from the start.”
The employer is so enthusiastic about René’s practical achievements and his manners that he takes him on as an apprentice – despite his mediocre performance at school. But one worry remains, namely vocational school. “It doesn’t make sense if you are top in practice and don’t pass the vocational school and at the end of the training you don’t pass the theoretical part of the journeyman’s examination and are left without a journeyman’s certificate,” Jens Wißbrok points out. Rehab counsellor Corinna Wiesbrock knew what to do: In order to make up for the gaps in his schooling and to continuously deepen his knowledge at the vocational school, René Marquardt is taking part in the “in-service training” (bbA) at the SOS Children’s Village, which is funded by the Detmold Employment Agency. “BbA” is basically educational support to ensure the success of the training,” explains the rehabilitation counsellor. So René always meets with Bärbel Tödtmann, SOS social pedagogue, on Mondays. “Before the support classes, we talk about whether there are any problems or difficulties of any kind. If there should be, I can hopefully intervene meaningfully as a partner in the training process.” But so far everything is going according to plan.
In the meantime, the young man has attended a machine course and has since been able to work on circular and crosscut saws, which makes the training even more diverse. And what other plans are already possible?! “To finish the training well, to work in the company for a few more years, and if the opportunity arises, perhaps to become a master craftsman or technician,” says Marquardt. In any case, boss Jens Wißbrok is convinced that the skilled crafts will have much more golden ground under their feet in the future. “In view of increasing digitalisation, jobs will be lost massively in all the administrative professions in the next few years. Well-trained skilled workers are sought after in the skilled crafts sector and will continue to have a secure and good job in the future.Only in-house training protects against our own shortage of skilled workers. We know that, and that’s why we are glad that we were lucky to have René. From the very beginning, he has shown that he absolutely wants to do this job successfully. By the way, Marquardt’s favourite wood is beech, a “very beautiful hardwood”, tough and long-lasting.