In recent years, the proportion of female apprentices in industry and trade has steadily increased. We at BINDER have also long been actively committed to inspiring more women to start technical careers and to train in our company by launching various projects.
Denise Lang from the Tuttlingen region in Germany is now in the third year of her industrial mechanic apprenticeship with us and is expected to complete her training in February 2017. In the interview, she gives an insight into her apprenticeship and tells us how she came to choose this career.
Denise, how did you get the idea to take on a technical career?
During my time at school, I completed two internships at BINDER, among others. I had the opportunity to learn about product design and to get a taste of what it is like to work as an industrial mechanic. A career as an industrial mechanic appealed to me more. And because I enjoyed working in the company during my internships so much, I applied for an apprenticeship at BINDER and was promptly accepted.
What exactly does an industrial mechanic make?
An industrial mechanic processes metal of all types and in all forms. Along with manual work such as milling, drilling, and turning, programming CNC machines is also one of the tasks of an industrial mechanic. We also take on small construction projects. Along with manual skill, you should therefore also be able to demonstrate technical understanding. After the apprenticeship, you can work in different production departments. As the production process at BINDER involves few metal processing tasks, industrial mechanics work in many different areas. During the apprenticeship, you get to work in all the company's industrial departments – from sheet metal working to final assembly. This is how I gained a comprehensive insight into every production stage. The weeks spent in the construction department were also very informative. Here I was able to see the complex overall concept that is hidden behind the production of our units.
Have you ever regretted choosing a technical career?
No, never. I have really enjoyed the apprenticeship so far, it was absolutely the right decision. Only the preliminary exam was quite stressful, as this counts towards the final grade and requires a lot of knowledge. But I did well in that too.
Are you at any disadvantage compared to your male colleagues?
No, actually not. Nevertheless, you can't be too sensitive. But I have definitely only had positive experiences in our team. Whether you need help carrying heavier loads or any other kind of support, both the apprentices and the instructors are always ready to give a helping hand.
What is the advantage for you of an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic?
For me, the better pay compared to typical “women's jobs” is a clear advantage.
How satisfied are you with your apprenticeship at BINDER?
I am extremely satisfied and couldn't imagine a better apprenticeship. The instructors are always there for you and are also not very strict (laughs). We have a great team spirit and enjoy our work. I especially like the many activities that BINDER offers its apprentices. We go on trips , for example, we have barbecues, we went go-karting together, and so on.
What would you advise other girls who are grappling with their own career choices?
Definitely do an internship. When you're at school, you often don't know the difference between a commercial and an industrial apprenticeship. You need to be given the opportunity to try things so you can find out which area most appeals to you. Because an apprenticeship is a life choice.
What are your plans for the future?
Firstly, after my apprenticeship I would really like to gain some work experience here at BINDER. Then I can imagine training further to become a technician or forewoman. BINDER also supports its employees in this way with different models for continuing education. But I'll have to see how everything goes.