Learn for life, not just for school. This is the motto according to which the pre-vocational school in St. Peter prepares its pupils for working life. Jakob Dippelreither was one of five school leavers in his year who chose to start an apprenticeship at voestalpine in Böhlerwerk back in 2012. He doesn’t regret it.
An apprenticeship at voestalpine might have seemed the obvious choice for Jakob Dippelreither, considering that his father has worked there for the past 35 years. “But it was only after having a look at what goes on in the apprentice workshop at voestalpine Precision Strip that I was finally convinced.” Now, after four years’ training in metals technology/mechanical engineering and electrical engineering/plant and industrial engineering, the enthusiastic clarinet player looks back on his time as an apprentice in a very positive light. “We had an extremely young and cool team of trainers, a really great atmosphere, and, most importantly, an exceptionally wide range of technical training at a very high level.”
Fit for Austria’s largest robot
Since 2016 Jakob Dippelreither has been working as an industrial electrician in plant maintenance at the new Precision Strip site in Kematen. Here, at the world’s most advanced cold-rolling center, his work focuses on control technology, which means permanently working with state-of-the-art technology. That means Industry 4.0, and in production facilities which are unmatched worldwide. Now that Jakob is working on one of Austria’s largest industrial robots, undertaking adjustments and maintenance, and optimizing its performance, his job has taken on another new dimension. “Our robot automatically binds the steel strip coils, and creates a huge range of products, from small to large. This process involves a series of pickup and deposit points which naturally need to be programmed. That’s another feature which distinguishes it from most conventional robots which only ever perform the ‘same movement’.”
Next step plant foreman?
By now it will be clear why Jakob has never regretted his decision to join voestalpine as an apprentice, and why he would recommend this route to anyone looking for a varied and secure job with good prospects. Because, for example, the training is excellent, the pay above average, and the work environment meritocratic yet still friendly. Or as he says himself: “The apprenticeship at voestalpine was totally cool, I learnt so much, and as a skilled worker I’m excellently equipped to face the future.” Talking of the future, Jakob is currently considering whether to start studying to qualify as a foreman. From what we know of Jakob, it won’t be long before he takes up this challenge.