Car-painting apprentices kept busy
The rate of growth in this trade is under strain: the number of apprentices and trainee applicants is dropping, resulting in a noticeable shortage of specialists. Spies Hecker wants to actively support vehicle-painting companies, which is why it established its Apprentice Academy.
The Apprentice Academy is a three-part training initiative to support budding vehicle painters. Experienced Spies Hecker trainers support them with additional training over the course of their three-year apprenticeships. Each year, the trainees spend four days in the Spies Hecker Training Center in Cologne. There, they are given additional practical training to supplement their normal education. The sessions are attuned to the trainees’ current level of training and their personal curricula.
The content of the training in the first year includes workplace safety and proper base preparation. Later modules cover subjects such as realistically assessing the scope of repair work, repairing plastic components, and painting methods – all the way up to designer paintwork and high-speed repairs. Trainees also learn how to work with digital colour-matching tools in the final module. The training programme was agreed between Spies Hecker and the Chamber of Crafts in Cologne. “Our goal is to produce perfectly trained specialists”, says Spies Hecker’s Head of Training, Jörg Sandner. “In each module, the trainees get to show what they can already do. Then we can decide how they can further grow their skills. Our Training Center offers the perfect conditions to do just that”.
Incentives for the best
Spies Hecker continues to support the best trainees even after they leave the Apprentice Academy. “We sponsor the participant who gets the best grade in their final examination to take the master school’s training module – including material support”, explains Jörg Sandner. The top trainee also receives a spray-gun and an all-round protection hood. Runner-up trainees are also rewarded. Spies Hecker cooperates with other workshop suppliers such as Carbon, debStoko, Freudenberg, Herkules Hebertechnik, Indasa/Farécla, Mirka, Horn & Bauer, sia/sika and WOLF Kabinentechnik. “Participants can look forward to all kinds of new experiences”, says Jörg Sandner. “This primarily includes practical things, but they also get to make contact with other up-and-coming painters”.