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Bosch to offer dual occupational training abroad


100 years of apprentice workshops

New training centers in Vietnam and Thailand

- April 1, 1913: apprentice workshop established by Robert Bosch in Stuttgart
- More than 100,000 young men and women trained around the world
- Christoph Kübel, director of industrial relations: “Occupational training is our social responsibility.”
- International apprentices exchanges offer experience of life abroad

Stuttgart – 100 years of apprentice workshops at Bosch. On April 1, 1913, Robert Bosch founded his company’s first occupational training department. Since then, more than 100,000 young men and women have begun their professional lives with training programs at Bosch, the global supplier of technology and services. That is more people than Berlin’s Olympic Stadium can hold. Back then, it was the first time that apprentices had been trained in a workshop to ensure consistent quality standards. Today, more than 6,500 young people around the world are in occupational training programs at Bosch, roughly 4,500 of them in Germany. A concept that began in Stuttgart all those years ago has since been successfully exported: occupational training programs based on the Bosch model have been implemented in more than 20 countries, and interest in such programs is on the rise. For instance, new training centers are currently being established in Vietnam and Thailand.

Mechatronics technicians in high demand

Bosch offers 30 occupational training programs in Germany alone. These include training for modern professions, among them computer specialists, microtechnologists, and organizational assistants. Mechatronics technicians are in especially high demand. This is because production increasingly calls for skills in both electronics and mechanics. At Bosch in Germany, the share of women per class currently stands at about 23 percent. Each year, the company receives more than 20,000 applications for its 1,500 training spots in Germany. Back in April 1913, company founder Robert Bosch kept just 40 apprentices busy in his apprentice workshop.

“We regard it as part of our social responsibility to offer apprenticeships, thus enabling many young people to get a head start in their careers,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “Over the years, we have developed extensive expertise in the realm of occupational training. We now want to carry this expertise over into the training of specialists to our high standard of quality abroad.”

High interest in Bosch training programs in Asia

Dual occupational training, which sees apprentices alternating between phases in the classroom and at work, is in demand abroad as well. At present, Bosch locations in many countries, among them China, India, and Brazil, offer training programs based on this tried and tested concept from Germany. The need for qualified specialists is especially high in Asia. Bosch is currently setting up an occupational training center in Vietnam. The center will initially offer training to 30 apprentices when it opens in 2013. A cooperative venture for occupational training is also being initiated in Thailand, where Bosch is about to start training the first six young associates as mechatronics technicians. Until now, this system of dual occupational training was unknown in the country.

Apprentice exchange programs promote intercultural skills

Today’s apprentices develop problem-solving and social skills early on. The practical experience they acquire at Bosch from the very beginning helps them cultivate these skills, for instance when they build workpieces for production or engineering. Intercultural skills are another important aspect of the occupational training programs. For more than 50 years, Bosch has offered international exchange programs for apprentices. In each class, 20 percent of apprentices are offered opportunities to experience different cultures and approaches to work in other countries. The aim is to foster apprentices’ ability to act in an independent manner, take responsibility for their actions, and develop strong teamwork skills.

“It was an excellent chance to learn about how people live and work in another country,” says Eike Kennel from Homburg. In the second year of his training program, he worked at Bosch’s Beijing location for two months. “My language skills also improved in the few weeks I spent in China. I now find speaking English much easier.”

For more information about working at Bosch go to

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services, active in the fields of automotive technology, energy and building technology, industrial technology, and consumer goods. According to preliminary figures, more than 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.3 billion euros in 2012. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.5 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for over 4,700 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust.

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PI8082 - 27. March 2013


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