Recently, it has become possible to complete the Master Craftsman Plastics and Rubber training course at the Würzburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce on a part-time basis. In this interview, SKZ podcaster Alexander Hefner talks to Robert Held, group leader for education in injection molding and additive manufacturing and instructor in the master craftsman course at SKZ.
Robert Held, Group Manager Education Injection Molding and Additive Manufacturing (Photo: Bertold Zugelder, SKZ)
As before, "master craftsmen" are in high demand in the plastics industry. Thanks to the thematically comprehensive master craftsman training, graduates have just as much knowledge of technology and production as they do of business management issues, which is why they usually occupy important key positions in the companies.
Alexander Hefner: Robert, the SKZ takes over the plastics-specific part of the master craftsman training for the IHK at several locations. Previously, this was only possible on a full-time basis in Würzburg. Why did you decide, together with the Würzburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, to now offer the master craftsman course on a part-time basis as well?
Robert Held: We wanted to make the master craftsman course more easily accessible. It takes longer in part-time, but thanks to block and partly online teaching, participants can now complete the course while working. As a result, they can keep their current job and many actually take on a new position in their current company afterwards: The aim is, of course, to get more people interested in this further training again thanks to the easier access and the compatibility with an existing job.
Hefner: Why do the participants decide to become master craftsmen? After all, it is a challenging training program?
Held: For one thing, you currently earn very good money as a master craftsman in plastics and rubber. The shortage of skilled workers also helps. Many of our graduates actually find themselves in very well-paid positions. The job opportunities are also excellent at the moment. But if we're honest here, many simply want to get out of shift work. That's a big advantage about a master's position. Non-monetary factors, such as personal development or the desire for a management position, are also reasons that participants often cite.
Hefner: Why should participants take the master craftsman's course with SKZ support, for example in Würzburg, Horb or Peine?
Held: We just know plastics. But seriously: We can actually guarantee that the practical training through the practical part at the SKZ has a significantly higher quality than a "quick and dirty" master craftsman, which many providers are just throwing on the market and then only let the IHK take the exam. Thanks to the close cooperation between the SKZ and the IHK, the participants who complete the master craftsman course with us are much better prepared for the exam. We also attach great importance to addressing process-specific features that are relevant to everyday industrial life in the technical center. In addition, we always try to think outside the box. Most of the participants come from a classic injection molding background, but with us they also learn about other processing methods, such as thermoforming, 3D printing and extrusion. Many of them benefit from this in their later work. They often come up with an outside-the-box idea to tackle a problem. Our instructors have also accumulated a wealth of experience and can tackle specific problems with real expertise and not just theory.
Further information about Master Craftsman in Plastics and Rubber (IHK) on our German website.