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Certificates awarded to Friedhelm Loh Group apprentices and students

2019-08-28. • Celebration for young talent at the Friedhelm Loh Group: 19 cooperative-education students and 30 apprentices receive certificates for completing studies/training • Managing Directors Uwe Scharf and Dr Thomas Steffen highlight future opportunities at the certificate award ceremonies • 18 of 19 students and 27 of 30 apprentices will remain with the Group

The Friedhelm Loh Group has officially congratulated 19 cooperative-education students – 16 in bachelor’s and 3 in master’s programmes – and 30 apprentices on their outstanding achievements and successful completion of their studies/training. Managing Directors Uwe Scharf and Dr Thomas Steffen awarded certificates to the delighted graduates at two ceremonies, and highlighted future opportunities.

“Real winners”

“You are real winners. Completing your courses is an achievement of your own making. Relish this moment,” stated Uwe Scharf, Managing Director of Rittal’s IT and Industry Business Units and Marketing, at the ceremony for graduates of the Friedhelm Loh Group’s StudiumPlus programme. “You have accomplished a great deal, and still have so much ahead of you – experiences and successes. Above all: keep on learning. And the basis for this is curiosity and not being afraid to make mistakes,” Scharf emphasised. StudiumPlus is an innovative cooperative-education programme operated by THM University of Applied Sciences in association with the Friedhelm Loh Group and other organisations. Its stand-out strength is its combination of hands-on work experience and classroom studies.

The students have demonstrated their ability to perform to high standards – throughout their time at the Group, during their studies and, now, upon their graduation. With their top grades and excellent work, they have cleared their first hurdle in the professional world. Tobias Hartmann, for instance, concluded his bachelor’s in engineering at the top of his class. And master’s graduates Giulia Rossner (technical sales) and Simon Stark (process management) earned perfect 1.0 marks. Following the successful completion of her bachelor’s in business administration/logistics management, Anna Lena Bertscheit will now continue her education with a cooperative-education master’s programme. Moreover, following her outstanding thesis, she will be gaining further professional experience as an assistant to Managing Director Uwe Scharf.

As the students begin the next stage of their work lives, Scharf called on them to “not view your career as an end in itself. Look for something that you enjoy, and that you can do especially well. And contribute your own ideas.” In this way, each individual can have an impact. And this is, in particular, an opportunity that family-owned enterprises like the Friedhelm Loh Group provide “Even though we are now a global player, we still know each other by name – and that helps good ideas to find an audience, and talent to be noticed.

“A first milestone”

In addition, 30 Friedhelm Loh Group apprentices have taken the first steps into the world of work. They have gained experience abroad in China and India, had offers of follow-up training leading to higher qualifications, and earned top marks for challenging final projects. With the technical, commercial and IT knowledge they have acquired with the Group, the apprentices are well-equipped to shape future developments. IT specialist Sascha Obenlüneschloss of Loh Services, for example, was the best-performing participant of his programme and earned an outstanding 1.2 mark on his certificate from the vocational college. “By completing your training, you have reached the first milestone of your professional lives,” emphasised Dr Thomas Steffen, going on to underline the importance of lifelong learning: “In the current phase of Industry 4.0, only skilled employees can keep pace with rapid developments.” He also expressed his confidence that Rittal and the Friedhelm Loh Group, as pioneers of digital transformation, are headed for a successful future – one where young talent will have a key role to play. “We are going through exciting times. You will all contribute to introducing and advancing digital processes and an end-to-end value chain in our company. We are counting on you.”

Gaining a foothold in Germany and the world

Five of the apprentices arrived in Germany as refugees, and have now completed their training as machine operators. A special round of applause went to Fnan Kahsay, who received the certificate with the best grades, and was honoured as the top of his class at the vocational college. “This outstanding performance is not only a great personal success, but also an example of integration in action,” stated Dr Steffen. “The Friedhelm Loh Group was one of the first companies in Germany to firmly commit to integration, and to actively implement it. And that has personally made me very proud.”

Nuturing the next generation

Approximately 200 young professionals are currently in apprenticeships at the Group in 20 areas, from warehouse logistics, to systems integration, to product design. In addition, 50 students are pursing degrees on eleven cooperative-education courses within the scope of the Group and THM’s StudiumPlus programme. The enterprise’s very own training facility, the Loh Academy, provides extensive support for these activities. This year, 45 graduates will remain as employees with the Group, launching their careers, and continuing to learn and grow

“A big thank-you also goes to the entire team of training staff. You have laid the foundations that ensure these talented young people are equipped for the future – imparting specialist skills and enabling personal development. This not only secures their own success, but also our confidence in the next generation,” underscored Regina Mundel, Head of HR Development at the Loh Academy.