Employees and Community
Around 30 new apprentices embark on the path to their professional future at BPW each year in one of more than 20 different apprenticeship careers offered by the company. Great value is placed on comprehensive education, including away from the specialist subject matter: the up-and-coming apprentices look at issues such as politics, take part in courses on etiquette, make use of the sports programme or organise the Christmas market. They also have the opportunity to live and work abroad for a period during their training.
Using the hashtag #WSNADW, which is short for the question ‘What shall you become?’ in German, the series of videos with the same name looks at that very question, with apprentices describing how they have found the answer at BPW.
How politics works
As an apprentice at BPW, you learn much more than a career – you also find out how politics works in Germany and how you can get involved, for instance.
The apprentices attend a series of events that teach them about politics, including workshops about the political approach to current issues such as pensions, illegal car racing or the legalisation of cannabis, or explaining the party manifestos.
They have recreated a council meeting to discuss the future of the regional open-air swimming pool, whilst panel discussions have looked at topics such as vocational schools and what it is like to be a young person in Wiehl. So far, a total of 135 apprentices have taken part in eleven modules. The content is adapted to current topics each year.
Opportunity to get started in a profession
‘I couldn’t keep up at school. At BPW I was able to start again and I am proud that I have learnt so much here already.’
Out of a total of 36 participants, 26 have already been accepted on apprenticeships so far. 19 have already completed their training and four new young people started in August 2019. BPW is expanding the programme and linking up with companies in the region to enable as many of the programme’s graduates as possible to start an apprenticeship and to better cater for their individual abilities and needs.
Foster talent and inspire inquiring minds
The youth fund’s ‘researcher kids on tour’ activity day introduces pre-school-age children to natural sciences. As part of this, apprentices from BPW and pupils from the Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Gymnasium secondary school in Wiehl visit kindergartens in Wiehl und explore tricky questions about hydropower, electricity and magnetism with the children. By doing so, they hope to encourage the children towards promising STEM subjects in the fields of mathematics, IT, natural sciences and engineering. A total of 84 apprentices and pupils have already been trained for this project, including 16 new recruits in 2018. The training covers the tutor role and the technical and practical aspects of the STEM project. There is great demand from kindergartens and new topics are currently being developed. The BPW youth fund is planning to expand the activity day to primary schools in the Wiehl area and a pilot project is already under way with TOB Bielstein secondary school.
Bridging the gap
BPW has been taking part in the annual activity week for some time and in 2019 invited around 240 school pupils from the region to workshops, where the pupils found out about the skilled occupations available at BPW. The young people were able to get hands-on, get involved and try things out at the company’s training centre – finding out, for example, what an industrial mechanic does or what you need to be a mechatronics engineer in future.
Industry is the future
The BPW apprentices are an excellent example of how industry is a good neighbour and an important part of society, as they took part in an apprentice social day for the common good in September 2018. They spent the day helping out in kindergartens, retirement homes, family centres and city facilities, doing jobs such as painting and renovation work, repairing bicycles, gardening or taking children and older people on trips.
nations work at the headquarters in Wiehl.
Company health management
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93 people were registered and at the start of May, DKMS wrote to one participant who has been identified as a potential donor. Nico Hoffmann is now undergoing further tests to find out if he can be a donor.
‘I think it was an all-round success. The apprentices’ decision to fund the DKMS type-testing event with the proceeds from the Christmas market was a great idea. I obviously hope I can help. And I have my fingers crossed that the DKMS will be able to write to even more participants too.’
Responsible and lawful actions
Respectful and trusting relationships between colleagues, as well as with customers and business partners, have a long tradition at BPW. BPW sets out these guidelines for day-to-day business in its own code of conduct for all employees.
To also ensure unfailing compliance with all legal provisions relating to environmental protection, occupational safety and competition law, BPW introduced the ‘GEORG’ software module for legal organisation. The software shows managers what their duties and obligations are – and reminds them in a timely manner when these are due. The tool thus helps them to act responsibly and lawfully at all times and to be able to document and demonstrate this. GEORG was introduced and integrated in the management system in 2018. Regular checks are carried out to ensure that it is being used and a monthly training programme is provided.
1,824 hours for safety
Whether something is on fire, oil needs to be cleared from the road, a storm has caused damage or people are in trouble, the 27-strong BPW firefighting unit, which is part of the voluntary fire brigade in Wiehl, comes to the rescue whenever it is needed.
In 2018, the team clocked up 1,824 hours of deployments, training and exercises and so kept the company and the region safe.
In 2019, the team acquired a new fire station next to the factory site in Wiehl, with support from BPW. Its tasks also include checking the fire safety equipment at BPW.