Herrenknecht graduate Tobias Robben is Germany’s best construction mechanic

November 23, 2016 Schwanau, Germany. Welding, screwing, molding workpieces. The day-to-day tasks of a construction mechanic revolve around metal as a material. A pleasure in working with this medium and a certain degree of imagination are required for these assignments, explains Klaus Himmelsbach, Head of Training at Herrenknecht. “But interested young adults are increasingly rare in this area so we are always on the lookout for young talents. Accordingly, outstanding performance such as that displayed by Tobias Robben is highly valued.” \r\nAfter a shorter apprenticeship period of only 2.5 years, Robben completed his training as a construction mechanic at the age of 28 in January 2016. This apprenticeship usually takes 3.5 years. All the more remarkable, therefore, are Robben’s first-class grades: his certificate indicates that he got 97 out of a possible 100 points and achieved a grade of “A+”. In 2016, this means that the construction mechanic not only achieved the best grades in his apprenticeship at regional level but also at national level – representing a first for Herrenknecht. “I never reckoned with this distinction. Until recently, I didn’t even know that such honors were available. But I was really happy about it”, claims Robben. He will be honored at the best regional trainee event in Pforzheim on November 24, 2016 and at national level in Berlin on December 5, 2016.
Aged 26, Tobias Robben commenced his training at Herrenknecht in September 2013. Before that, he had started a college degree and been involved in the theoretical side for a long time. But he wanted his training to offer as much practical effort as possible. During his first interview with Robben, Training Officer Klaus Himmelsbach swiftly realized that he was the right candidate for Herrenknecht and that he had a lot of potential. Cool-headed, always thinking a step ahead and endowed with a healthy portion of ambition, he set about completing his work and his training – ultimately qualifying as the best construction mechanic in all of Germany. “It goes without saying that, as his Training Officer, I am proud of Tobias, but he owes this award primarily to himself as well as his technical college in Offenburg. He worked very hard to achieve these results and has definitely deserved this respectable award”, continues Himmelsbach.\r\nThe qualified construction mechanic consciously opted for an apprenticeship at Herrenknecht. As one of the largest employers in the region with a modern training center and a state-of-the-art training workshop, he was particularly attracted by the diverse development opportunities offered there. “At Herrenknecht, it is possible to familiarize yourself with every conceivable type of welding. Trainees in smaller enterprises often do not have this chance. And plenty of preparation time is provided for the final examination with the instructors offering active support.”

Since qualifying as a construction mechanic at the beginning of the year, Tobias Robben has been furthering his career at Herrenknecht Rebuild Services in Kehl. Next year, he intends to use a €2,500 prize money awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry on November 18, 2016 to train as a technician enabling him to immerse himself even more intensively in the area of tunnelling technology. “I am fascinated by these huge machines. When I stood in front of a finished tunnel boring machine for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the sheer scope of this technology.”\r\nHerrenknecht employs around 180 trainees in 18 different technical and commercial apprenticeships. A total of 43 trainees successfully completed their training in 2016, many of them displaying outstanding performance. 40 of these young graduates still work at Herrenknecht. \r\nApprenticeships have enjoyed a long tradition at Herrenknecht: only shortly after the company was established, the first apprentice mechanic was hired in 1980. Nowadays, industrial trainees are supported and promoted by 6 training instructors in a modern training workshop spanning an area of 2,800 m² and including an extensive machine park. With additional in-house instruction in English, for example, they are prepared for their everyday working life in a company operating at international level.

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Steffen Dubé President and General Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser Commercial Manager Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.