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Member of the German Bundestag Natalie Pawlik visits SKZ Model Factory and Training Center for Quality in Würzburg

Natalie Pawlik, Member of the German Parliament (SPD), recently visited SKZ Model Factory in Würzburg. In a discussion with Prof. Dr. Martin Bastian (Chairman of the Board), Dr. Benedikte Hatz (Head of Innovation and Technology Transfer) and Dr. Benjamin Baudrit (Deputy Managing Director), she gained a comprehensive insight into the wide range of educational and research opportunities in the plastics industry. Together they discussed important current challenges, especially in the field of education.

September 8, 2023
Bundestagsabgeordnete Natalie Pawlik besucht das SKZ

Ms. Natalie Pawlik, Member of the German Bundestag, visits the Model Factory and the Training Center for Quality of the SKZ. Prof. Dr. Martin Bastian (Chairman of the Board SKZ), Natalie Pawlik Member of the German Bundestag, Dr. Benedikte Hatz (Head of Innovation and Technology Transfer SKZ, Education and Research), Dr. Benjamin Baudrit (Deputy Managing Director SKZ, Education and Research) (l.t.r.) (Photo: Luca Hoffmannbeck, SKZ)

SKZ's Model Factory and Training Center for Quality provide state-of-the-art research and training for the plastics industry.

Natalie Pawlik (SPD), member of the German Bundestag, visited the German Plastics Center SKZ in Würzburg to get to know the SKZ's Model Factory and Training Center for Quality as well as its wide range of services and activities for the plastics industry.

Model Factory and Training Center for Quality of SKZ active since the beginning of 2023

The model factory offers 4,700 m2 of floor space, including 1,700 m2 of pilot plants and laboratories and around 600 m2 of networking and conference space, as well as space for around 110 highly qualified employees. The model factory will focus on practical research and implementation of Industry 4.0 for the plastics industry. In the new premises, concrete problems in production and application will be worked on and practical solutions developed - especially for small and medium-sized companies - in particular with regard to future-relevant topics such as digitalization and artificial intelligence.

The Training Center for Quality (TZQ) was built next to the model factory. Almost half of the center's 1,000 m2 of floor space is devoted to classrooms. The state-of-the-art equipment and innovative teaching and learning methods are also designed to counteract the shortage of skilled workers. Each year, for example, some 90 different courses with a high practical relevance are offered on the subject of quality. The aim is to ensure that companies remain competitive in the long term by providing skilled workers with a high level of training and continuing education.

Strong educational offerings for the plastics industry and focus on young talent

IIn a presentation of the SKZ by Prof. Martin Bastian, Ms. Pawlik received comprehensive information about the wide range of activities and educational offers throughout Germany. The importance of high-quality and qualified vocational training was particularly emphasized. In addition to the numerous educational programs offered by the SKZ with more than 10,000 participants per year, the SKZ also addresses the impending shortage of skilled workers with the SKZ Lab. Through this initiative, middle school students spend a day learning about the diverse activities of a plastics company, including research, technology, design, sustainability, marketing and finance. At the same time, they can experience their own teamwork, collaboration and communication skills in six teams. This promotes togetherness, stimulates interest in science and contributes directly to the important career orientation of this age group. Afterwards, Ms. Pawlik was able to get a first-hand impression of the modern, didactically state-of-the-art training center for quality management. Ms. Pawlik was impressed by the wide range of opportunities and emphasized the SKZ's commitment to promoting young talent: "Companies' requirements and expectations of their skilled workers are constantly changing, so modern and qualified training opportunities are essential for both young professionals and employees. Lifelong learning must become the norm in a career biography in order to counteract the shortage of skilled workers at all levels of the professional career. Career orientation programs such as the SKZ Lab serve as a model. With the Act to Strengthen the Promotion of Education and Training, which was recently passed by the Bundestag, we have introduced instruments such as a subsidized career orientation internship as part of the training guarantee. Now it is a matter of putting these new instruments into practice so that as many young people as possible can benefit from them.

Prof. Dr. Martin Bastian thanked Ms. Pawlik for her visit and emphasized the importance of financial support for such measures: "The comprehensive promotion of young talent, including for STEM professions, is an investment in our social and economic future. Stronger and broader support is absolutely necessary. The SKZ Lab is a highly attractive hands-on student and environmental laboratory for students of all types of schools, but it cannot be offered on its own due to the difficulty of obtaining funding. The chances of obtaining government support should be significantly increased, as this is a high-quality career orientation initiative that can be implemented with few resources."

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Contact Person:

Dr. Benedikte Hatz
Business Unit Manager | Innovation and Technology Transfer
b.hatz@skz.de

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