The vocational education and training centre IDM Thun and the Jever vocational schools (BBS) in Germany signed a cooperation agreement back in April 2018. The European mobility project is now in its implementation phase. 

Following two years of active preparations between the cooperation partners from Thun and Jever, the exchange project for logistics apprentices is now under way. The aim of the VET exchange goes beyond acquiring technical skills and getting to know the different school systems. It is also about gaining an in-depth insight into life and culture in the respective country.  “Despite the great physical distance, we have been working together very closely and quickly realised that we are on the same page in many respects,” says Boris Seiler, head of department and member of IDM Thun’s governing body.  

Six logistics apprentices from Switzerland visited Jever in October 2018 for three weeks. The young people worked for three days a week in a logistics company, where they got to know the local work processes. Alongside the work placement, they also attended the vocational school. 

Anyone who takes part in an exchange project quickly understands that it’s not only about reinforcing technical skills but also about enhancing social and personal skills. Swiss apprentice Sascha Fuhrer experienced this first hand as he had the opportunity to work independently in the host company within a few days. He explains that this gave his self-confidence a massive boost. The launch of this new apprentice exchange between the BBS Jever and IDM Thun can therefore be hailed a resounding success. And this success is expected to continue after the project ends as IDM Thun is seeking a long-term partnership with the BBS Jever as it wants to give apprentices in other vocations the opportunity to take part in international exchange. Given the growing internationalisation of business, it is essential that apprentices are equipped with intercultural skills. This will ensure that the professionals of tomorrow are able to meet the requirements of an international working world.  

In spring 2019, six apprentices in warehouse logistics from Jever are set to visit Switzerland. The apprentices will be accompanied by teachers.