German industry is generally dominated by men. At Hydro’s aluminium rolling mill in Grevenbroich, Germany, Hydro has initiated several apprenticeship programs to increase the share of women in the industry.
Hydro represents a great diversity in education, experience, gender, age and cultural background. Diversity is a substantial resource – not least in fostering innovation.
In 2015, 13.5 percent of apprentices at Grevenbroich were female. From February 1 next year, the number will increase to 15.5 percent.
One of female employees, Lena Krause, finished her apprenticeship (vocational training) 2-5 years ago and describes her experience as a woman at the plant with only positive words.
“Of course, it is quite strange at the beginning to work in a male-dominated surrounding, but I can report only positive things. To work in such a profession you do not really need physical power as many think. You need competence, know-how and quick-wittedness. Finally, I would like to mention that you will find here everything you need to conduct a good vocational training,” says Krause.
Hydro values education and diversity in the workplace, and has developed several training programs aimed at recruiting women. A new program was launched in the spring of 2015 in which 15- to 16-year-olds accompanied a female employee for four days to get experience in various technical fields.
Vocational training for apprentices in Germany is a “dual system,” in which apprentices get on-the-job experience as a central part of their education. Students get both knowledge and experience by “learning by doing.”