Main driver behind the newly introduced apprenticeship scheme “Food technician” was the Austrian employers’ organisation “Fachverband der Lebensmittelindustrie”, who initiated and developed the programme inclusive of training curricula in close cooperation with the trade union Pro-Ge in 2008. The apprenticeship for the food technician takes 3 ½ years.
The social partners actively participate in all committees at the vocational training school and supervise exams and the fulfillment of quality standards for the training phase at the company level. Social partners set the monthly compensation for apprentices at a comparably high level (€ 1.397 in their year, € 1.555 € in fourth year if over 18 years old) for the food industry in order to attract “older” or highly skilled people. Engagement in numerous PR activities to make the new apprenticeship scheme well known to the public and target group, by using following channels: media, social partners’ networks, employment agency, job fairs, cooperation with schools.
Concept of the apprenticeship scheme
- Answer to changing needs and requirements of the food industry and job market.
- Opportunity to make the food industry attractive to young people,
- To provide a high standard training with good career opportunities matching future needs,
- Focus on recruitment of women – to make the food industry more attractive to women,
- Focus on better or highly skilled people since apprenticeship wage is comparably high.
Outcome and achievements
Already 119 young people have successfully completed the 3½ year apprenticeship scheme, female participation rate of 50% in current classes (as of July 2015). All have found permanent employment upon completing their apprenticeship. Participating companies are FELIX AUSTRIA GmbH, Agrana Stärke GmbH, NÖM AG, Haribo Lakritzen GmbH, Grünewald Fruchtsaft GmbH (and many more)
Companies pay wages of apprentices, public funds for vocational training schools