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Bühler celebrates the tenth anniversary of international mobility in vocational training

Uzwil (Switzerland), September 14, 2017 – Bühler is celebrating the tenth generation of apprentices who have been offered assignments abroad. Whether in China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, or the United States – as many as 136 apprentices have already spent several months of their vocational training at a Bühler location outside Switzerland since these assignments abroad were launched in 2008. These stints in another country make apprentices fit for the international environment in which Bühler operates. In combination with ClassUnlimited, a distance-teaching concept, Bühler offers young people a training opportunity that is unique worldwide.

Bühler has always attached the greatest importance to sound vocational training for over 100 years. With the local presence of Bühler at over 140 locations around the world, international mobility has now also entered the field of vocational training. In order to make its employees fit for acting in an international environment, Bühler has enabled apprentices for ten years now to continue their education during two to six months at a Bühler location outside Switzerland.

What started in 2008 with the idea of delegating five apprentices – two polymechanics and three plant and equipment builders – to the Bühler site in China has today evolved into a globally unique success model. It allows young vocational trainees to gain valuable experience at as many as nine Bühler locations in seven countries today and to apply it to their professional day-to-day activities later on. The benefits of this approach are obvious: Apprentices gain first-hand experience of different cultures and languages. They can hone their vocational and personal skills and broaden their horizon and thus become fit to operate in Bühler’s international work environment.

The distance-teaching concept ClassUnlimited, which Bühler and the Vocational School and School of Further Education Wil-Uzwil (BZWU) developed in 2012, enables apprentices to continue their vocational training without interruption during their stints abroad. A live camera links them with classes in Switzerland, which are held in a learning arena equipped with cutting-edge technology. This educational approach is a unique form of decentralized learning that combines the advantages of classic classroom-based education with the possibilities offered by digitally processed media and thus allows vocational school classes to be held across several continents. You can find more information on the ClassUnlimited concept here. Bühler is also testing the use of Augmented and Mixed Reality in vocational training in collaboration with Netcetra: With the HoloLens the apprentices are able to observe the milling machines in their original size in 3D. They can move around the 3D object, open up the machine and therewith deepen their knowledge of the operating principles directly in the classroom.

Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler pointed out the importance of international mobility for Bühler at the anniversary celebration: “Education and training is at the core of our company and internationality has always been an important part of our business. Today, we generate around 98% of our turnover abroad. About 75% of our employees are not located in Switzerland, but at one of the Bühler locations worldwide. Understanding different cultures, languages and needs is therefore a decisive factor in our business and hence also a key topic in the education of our apprentices.”

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