2021 training year gets underway at Heidelberg

IT-related occupations help with digital transformation

Some 85 young people began their training/dual study program at the Heidelberg site in Wiesloch-Walldorf on September 1, 2021. The total figure for the company’s four sites in Germany was 122. Photo Heidelberg

The training year at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) starts on 1 September 2021. Some 122 young women and men are embarking on their training or dual study program at one of the company’s four sites in Wiesloch-Walldorf, Brandenburg, Amstetten, and Ludwigsburg. At the Wiesloch-Walldorf site alone, no fewer than 85 trainees are moving into a redesigned training center. Training is currently offered in 11 occupations, alongside numerous technical, business, and interdisciplinary courses. The focus is on production-related careers, for example, training to be a mechanic, mechatronics engineer, electronics engineer, or logistician. However, the importance of IT-related occupations and the relevant training options on offer are both continuing to grow. For instance, the number of training places for IT specialists is going up from four to five. Business information systems students specializing in software engineering or application management can look forward to exciting and varied challenges at Heidelberg.

“Our business information systems students have the opportunity to learn all about IT and business science in a practical setting. Depending on their interests and capabilities, there is also a possibility of specializing in the latest IT-related topics that are relevant to Heidelberg. Our students and graduates generally play a key role in our company’s digital transformation,” says Andreas Blum, who is in charge of vocational training at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site.

Artificial intelligence is also making its presence felt in IT-related occupations. In particular, it is becoming increasingly important in the end-to-end operation of presses and in automated end customer consulting. Heidelberg involves both trainees and students in the company’s future-focused activities from the outset – in the form of practical projects relating, for example, to electromobility, printed electronics, or software engineering.

Scope of training to grow in the coming years

Despite a significant decrease in headcount, Heidelberg is upping the absolute number of training places by around a fifth this year. Due to demographic change and the growing digitization of all areas of the company, the skills employees need are constantly evolving. The company will therefore be offering even more places for trainees and students over the coming years, in line with requirements.

“As digitization marches on, we need young talent to prepare us for the challenges that lie ahead – in our core business based on the printed sheet and also in new growth markets such as printed electronics and electromobility,” explains Prof Rupert Felder, who is in charge of human resources at the company. “Heidelberg offers a high level of training in exciting disciplines, which then generally leads on to a permanent employment contract,” he adds.

Around 300 trainees are currently employed at the company’s four sites, approximately 230 of whom are based at the largest site, Wiesloch-Walldorf.

Training partnerships becoming increasingly important

Along with its own intake, Heidelberg is also accepting trainees from other companies in the context of training partnerships. Some 15 such trainees are currently at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site. This means smaller companies can avoid having to provide their own training courses or extend their vocational training. They save money by making use of the training offered by Heidelberg. For its part, Heidelberg can make better use of available training capacities and the young trainees learn to work in partnership with other companies at this early stage. “As a result, companies are more willing to make training available – in the light of demographic change, for instance. Our partnership strategy is making vocational training as a whole more attractive in the region,” says Felder.

Applications already open for 2022 training year

Applications are already being taken for training and study programs starting in September 2022. School grades are not the only deciding factor when it comes to a training place at Heidelberg. Just as important are applicants’ social skills, personality, and attitude to their career. Full details about vocational training at Heidelberg and an application portal can be found on the company’s website.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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