Frankfurt am Main, 13 February 2012. – For the METAV 2012 in Düsseldorf, the VDW’s Training Foundation will once again be hosting a special show for young people. Under the motto “Mechanical Engineering – a Job with Power” around 3,000 young people and their teachers from North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony will from 28 February to 3 March be taking a hands-on look at the very latest in modern-day production technology. Invitations have gone to technical vocational schools, specialised vocational schools and technical course participants at mainstream schools.

“The shortage of trained personnel is becoming progressively more critical, particularly in mid-tier metalworking companies”, comments Peter Bole,
Director of the VDW’s Training Foundation. This, he says, applies both to the machine tool industry and to its customers in the mechanical engineering sector. For example, there are already not enough suitable applicants to fill the training slots currently available in the sector. At the same time, there is a rising level of demand for new recruits, and increasingly stringent requirements for them to satisfy.


The demand for trainees cannot be met

The German Federal Employment Agency announced in September of last year a severe disparity between applicants and trainee slots reported in various metalworking careers, and the gap is widening. In the metalworking career category, for example, in the 2010 training year, there were approximately 6,000 applicants for more than 8,000 training vacancies. In the mechatronics category, the disparity was even greater. The number of applicants had risen by 4.1 per cent between 2009 and 2010, but the vacancies by 12.4 per cent over the same period.

“Young people have excellent prospects in the metalworking sector”, confirmed Bole. “The careers are exciting. They offer challenges for committed and creative young people. The pay is good and so are the opportunities”, enthuses the qualified toolmaker, who himself has can impressive track record in the machine tool industry. Often, though, young people don’t know very much about careers in this sector. This is where “Mechanical Engineering – a Job with Power” comes in. The special show for young people at the METAV 2012 aims to show once again just how fascinating technology can be.

Ten partners aim to attract recruits with the special show for young people

Leading companies from the metalworking industry are involved, demonstrating how state-of-the-art machines are used in production operations, together with the associated software, essential nowadays for each machine. Trainees report on their everyday work experiences, instructors on their requirements, representatives of universities and technical colleges on how to choose the right degree course, and on advanced training options. In guided tours for schoolchildren from secondary school level, companies can showcase their attractions to potential recruits.

The partners behind the special show for young people in Hall 13 of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre are the DMG Training Academy in Bielefeld, Düsseldorf Technical college, the Community Teaching Workshop (GLW) from Velbert, the Heidenhain company from Traunreut, the Klingelnberg company from Hückeswagen, Schütte Schleiftechnik from Cologne, Siemens, Erlangen, SolidCam from Schramberg and Dortmund Technical University.

On 1 March 2012, Aalen Technical College and the Georg-Kerschensteiner Vocational College in Troisdorf will be receiving a joint accolade: the certificate of the VDW’s Training Foundation for particularly meritorious quality in their training operations. In addition, over the entire course of the fair, instructor seminars will be held for the “Vocational Training Competence Initiative”. This is a project up and running throughout North Rhine-Westphalia for advising and skilling instructors in the metalworking industry’s 2,000 companies that hire trainees.

“The special show for young people at the metalworking trade fairs has built up an excellent reputation over the past few years – not least among the teachers”, is Peter Bole’s verdict. “In many cases, it’s one of the first things they enter in their appointment diaries.”


The VDW’s Training Foundation, located in Frankfurt am Main and Bielefeld, was set up in 2009 as a subsidiary of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association). Its remit involves gaining and mentoring recruits for the machine tool manufacturing sector. One major focus of the foundation’s work is projects for improving the quality of the training options on offer, particularly in terms of advanced training and skilling of the instructors concerned. In the last three years, for example, more than 1,300 instructors and trainers were familiarised with the latest advances in the field of computer-aided manufacture. At the trade fairs organised by the VDW, the METAV in Düsseldorf and the EMO in Hanover, over the past ten years more than 70,000 schoolchildren and their specialist teachers have been able to bring themselves up to date on career opportunities and the latest developments in the sector.