The University of Bremen is not only a place for students and young researchers, but also trains about 80 young people in various professions every year. Silke Heinrich from the University of Bremen coordinates this area and visits schools and job fairs.
Anyone who meets Silke Heinrich immediately notices her friendly, open personality. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with her. “It’s probably because I deal with so many different people every day,” she laughs. “Working with young people, accompanying them on their way to their professional future, is so much fun for me. It keeps me on my toes all the time.” You can definitely tell, and that’s probably a stroke of luck for the apprentices.
The university as a place for vocational training? Silke Heinrich often encounters this astonished question. This is because it is not yet a widely known fact. “Yes, people are often surprised. Yet we have such great, interesting areas. From craft and technically oriented professions, to laboratory jobs, services, and information technology. These range from facility mechanic, to industrial electronics technician, and event manager.”
Job Fairs and School Visits: Always on the Lookout for Qualified Apprentices
Her job is to spread the word about these diverse opportunities. “A big part of my job is marketing,” she confirms. She travels to job fairs and visits school classes to promote apprenticeships at the University of Bremen. I always have trainees from our organization there with me, who can tell interested students firsthand what their apprenticeship is like and also answer any questions they may have. Silke Heinrich also takes care of producing video clips that are snappily edited and reach the young target group via social media channels and internet platforms. “Of course, I don’t do that myself; such videos are outsourced to agencies together with our marketing experts or produced by the Center for Multimedia in Higher Education (ZMML) at the University of Bremen.”
Silke Heinrich is also the contact person for all issues concerning the trainees. At first, for example, it’s a matter of getting to know the campus and other apprentices. Then she organizes a joint breakfast or she provides them with useful information about who they can contact and when. She works closely with the vocational trainers in this process. Silke Heinrich emphasizes that successful cooperation is the only way she can do her job.
Wide Range of Apprenticeship Professions
Around 80 young people a year receive vocational training. “We are one of the largest employers in Bremen,” Silke Heinrich emphasizes, “and we have a responsibility to the regional economy. That’s why we offer young people a wide range of attractive and practical training opportunities with very good prospects for the future.” Young people with refugee experience have also been able to undergo training, which was part of an introductory qualification program that prepares them for a vocational apprenticeship. “It’s one of my favorite projects,” she says. And when these trainees then graduate with good results and are hired, Silke Heinrich is very proud – of the trainees, but also of the trainers of course. Those who want to get their bearings first also have the opportunity to take a look at various areas of the University of Bremen through an internship. It is important to her that young people find something they enjoy.
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