Richard Wolf Medical Instruments, a leading manufacturer of technologies for endoscopic diagnosis and therapy, has a long history of training apprentices at their parent company in Germany. It was a natural fit for the manufacturer to become an ICATT Network Company, offering apprenticeships for advanced manufacturing technicians.
“I was an apprentice myself,” said Director of Manufacturing Hans Kraus. “We value what apprentices bring to our company, but we weren’t interested in starting a program on our own. It’s too much to do alone. We needed to work with an established organization that could provide expertise, structure, and guidance.”
For Richard Wolf, partnering with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program is part of a long-term workforce development strategy. The company is committed to mentoring apprentices who intend to stay at the company for many years of their career, gaining experience and possibly moving into supervisory or team lead roles. Richard Wolf managers don’t want to relegate apprentices only to simple tasks; they want them to grow as full employees, developing their skills and taking on more responsibility over time.
“We saw our first apprentice making a significant contribution to the team early on, within the first couple of months,” said Kraus. “And by the second year, he was a contributing member of the team.”
Kraus said after witnessing firsthand the success of the program, he now encourages other manufacturers to become ICATT Network Companies.
“It’s an amazing program, and I don’t think you can lose by participating,” Kraus concluded. “Yes, you must invest time and money in the beginning, but the long-term benefits are well worth it. When you make training apprentices a priority, they become productive and you really see the benefits. We need educated and highly qualified people in our industry. And if you don’t invest in people, you can’t expect a positive outcome.”
Get more information about how the ICATT Apprenticeship Program can provide your company with a pipeline of talent.