Education and training are key
Theory and practice are closely intertwined in the program. Classroom technical training is given by Technicom - a well-known institute for technical trainings in the Netherlands -, while the practical experience is provided by two highly experienced O-I employees, working in Leerdam and Maastricht. “After two years, each participant should have acquired the necessary knowledge and experience to start working as a Process Operator at O-I”, says Rob Daamen.
Both the apprentices and O-I coaches are very enthusiastic. “It takes quite an investment of time and effort from our coaches. They work closely with them and they eagerly pass on their knowledge,” says Daamen.
Rowan Tucker (18 years old), apprentice at O-I Leerdam: “I feel very welcome at O-I. All knowledge and skills are available to learn the job and, through internships, we get a broad insight into how a glass bottle is made. It is a great opportunity to get a specific training, resulting in a diploma and a permanent contract.”
Investing in the future
O-I’s intention is that a new group of young people starts the two-year apprentice program every year. “As of March 2019, we will accept applications for the second group. We expect that the positive experience and feedback of the current apprentices will trigger other young people to seize the opportunity,” says Daamen. “They will learn a lot and have an exciting time as they prepare for a successful start into their professional life.”
Similar programs exist in various European O-I locations. The new apprentice program in the Netherlands represents a significant step forward for the Dutch plants. “Our commitment is to continue to find opportunities to launch similar programs in locations where we still don’t have them and to harmonize the curriculum as much as possible in order to have a consistent EU offer” concludes Daamen.