Vocational Training goes International

Internationalization is a topic which has an increasing importance for Roche in Germany. Many employees are going to Roche locations abroad in order to attain the possibility of networking, learning about different ways of working as well as receiving different perspectives. By now, our IHK apprentices are also allowed to get the taste of international exchanges.

Providing the opportunity for our apprentices to gain hands-on experiences abroad is an issue which raised importance in the past years in Mannheim and Penzberg. For students, who are studying within a dual study system, this was already possible. This worked, because it is already known what study programs consist of across borders. Therefore, colleagues from different locations know exactly what they can expect from the students and which activities they can perform. “For dual students it is already widely implemented to work or study abroad” confirms Elke, head of vocational training in Mannheim. Every year at least 40 of our junior employees are working for some time in Asia, Australia, Europe or the US.

The department of vocational training of Roche Diagnostics GmbH implemented an international program for the IHK-apprentices in 2013 as well. Thus, Roche is able to offer them the opportunity to spend some time abroad. Now apprentices can spend up to three months at a Roche location abroad. The benefits that the junior employees gain out of the program are large – especially regarding the professional and personal development. “Due to my assignment in Indianapolis, I had the possibility to get to know the working methods of an international Roche location and could also extend my network outside of Mannheim. This experience is very valuable for my future workplace”, reports Patrick, apprentice for production technology. Lara, apprentice in biology laboratories in Penzberg, also confirmed that this opportunity is very positive: ”During my time in Basel, I realized that I made the right choice for working in this international context. My personal highlight was meeting Thomas Singer, the global head of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He gave me information about the different areas of responsibilities from different departments and we also talked about my stay in Basel.”

Last year, there were 15 apprentices from Mannheim and 10 from Penzberg, who had an assignment in Basel, Schlieren, Indianapolis or other locations. “The IHK-apprenticeship is relatively unknown outside of Germany. Thus, we rely heavily on the support from the different departments. For example, by using the network of pharmaceutical research, we could already help many scientific apprentices to find an assignment abroad” emphasizes Christine, vocational training instructor in Penzberg. In order to further expand the program in 2015 and to grant this opportunity to many young people, Elke and Christine hope for further assistance from the different departments.

We are already looking forward to many exciting reports by our apprentices about experiences made abroad.

Tags: Career Blog, Germany