As an internationally active partner to the pipe trade, we demand a great deal of ourselves. This is why we also take the huge responsibility we have to our employees very seriously. We have always considered the provision of career prospects, personal development, individual support and financial security to be our top priorities.
Since the company was founded, training of young people has been one of STAROFIT's most important jobs – which also incidentally paves the way to securing the company's own future. We have over 70 employees, almost all of whom have learnt the fittings trade with us.
When selecting our employees and apprentices, we try to look beyond certificates and grades. We want to get to know you as a person. We want you to grow and develop in your role with us and we want to grow with you.
Question: At first an "apprenticeship in the steel trade business" does not seem like a very exciting prospect for most young people. How does STAROFIT inspire young people to take this path?
Kai Beecken: We have been established for a long time now in the region as a highly efficient training firm. We have excellent contacts with schools and job markets in this area. This gives us the opportunity time and again to speak to young people directly and motivate them to do an apprenticeship at our company.
Through this I think we can bring across to them that an apprenticeship with us can be both exciting and challenging. Those who are still not sure are welcome to do a placement with us first in order to get to know our company better and familiarise themselves with the work involved.
Question: Many young people wonder whether an apprenticeship is the right thing for them, or whether a course of studies would be better? What would your advice be?
Kai Beecken: That is of course an important decision, and ultimately every young person needs to decide for themselves what's best for them. I personally think it makes a lot of sense to do an apprenticeship directly after taking your school leaving examination. You will still be young enough to enrol in a course of studies afterwards, if you are interested in doing so. By then, you will already have gained some professional experience, applied your knowledge in practice and most certainly made progress in terms of your personal development.
A further option is an extra-occupational course of studies following the apprenticeship. Several STAROFIT employees have already taken this path successfully and were very happy with their decision. There is also the option of a dual course of studies, in other words a study course with integrated on-the-job training, something which we also offer.
Question: What, in your opinion, is special about an apprenticeship with STAROFIT?
Kai Beecken: For us, training with personal supervision is very important. In other words, the apprentice should have someone they can turn to at any time. Our aim is also to ensure that apprentices are able to work on their own as soon as possible. This is fun and helps people gain confidence in their own abilities. Our apprentices receive regular training and can take part in various seminars. In the commercial occupations it is also possible to take part in an external further training course, which allows, among other things, for a internship abroad.
Question: What are the important prerequisites for becoming a STAROFIT apprentice?
Kai Beecken: We expect our apprentices to be reliable and able to act independently. As teamwork has an important role to play in every department, it is essential that applicants are team players. Suitable qualifications are of course also required for our professions. However, although grades are important, it is far more important to be able to convince others with your personality and attitude to work!
Question: When is the best time to apply?
Kai Beecken: All vocational trainees start on 01.08 every year. It is therefore advisable to apply in October/November of the year before at the latest.
Question: Do you have any advice on what makes a good application? Would it be better to apply via e-mail or by post?
Kai Beecken: The most important point is one which always applies: The application must be neat and well laid out. Spelling mistakes and incomplete applications must be avoided. You should ideally ask your parents or teachers to help you. It is also advisable to compose a personal cover letter instead of just using a standard text. This gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd. We always like to hear about hobbies, volunteer work or other things you are involved in. We accept applications by e-mail and also by post. Personally, I find that an e-mail application is the most up-to-date method.
Question: What happens during the application process?
Kai Beecken: Following a preliminary selection based on their applications, we invite candidates to interviews and test them on their general knowledge. This gives the applicants the opportunity to get to know us and vice-versa. We can therefore make an informed decision on who we wish to offer an apprenticeship to.
Question: What are the prospects for apprentices at STAROFIT once they have successfully completed their training?
Kai Beecken: Ideally the apprentices of today become the employees of tomorrow. Our training strategy is also geared towards this objective. Currently around 80% of our employees are former apprentices, providing a valuable addition to our various departments. Several are in managerial roles and therefore play an active role in shaping the future of STAROFIT. Whatever the future prospects, STAROFIT offers outstanding opportunities for all individuals to achieve their long-term career goals.