Vocational training

A great deal of learning is done by imitation. Babies start to sit up and crawl because they want to walk like their parents do. Toddlers try to repeat the syllables they hear around them, and that is how they learn to speak. Other skills require a more structured form of teaching and learning, found for example in schools, but also in companies and universities.

Knowledge and education are vital for a society to prosper. The labour market rewards a high level of education and skills.

According to OECD research, adults who have completed vocational training can expect to earn an average of 70 per cent more than those with no upper secondary education.

Demographic change makes it difficult for many companies to find skilled labour. How can they discover potential that has so far remained hidden in the labour market? What chances are there for young people to make their way in the professional world?


Where learning is fun

When it comes to their future, German trainees trust the Savings Banks.  In 2014, the Savings Banks Finance Group employed around 22,500 vocational trainees - and some institutions take an unusual approach.  Sparkasse Krefeld, for example, offers interesting alternatives for those who decide to opt out of their studies – and provides a training workplace for chefs.

Oliver Vanselow and Marco Salven both decided to take up a vocational training at Sparkasse Krefeld.

24-year old Marco Salven chose his employer “because it's the Savings Bank”. But he is not at all interested in finance. Marco likes to cook. And that's what he does, almost every day. Sparkasse Krefeld, Marco's employer, is one of only a few institutions in Germany that offer training in their own kitchen.  

What is the best thing about Marco's training? “It's extremely diversified, from à-la-carte to industrial catering. I learn much more here than I would in a regular restaurant that caters only to a specific target group.”

Marco's highlight so far: a special year-end event. “What we created with the food on that occasion – it was almost an art form. I had to handle the products very carefully and I really learnt a lot. So, if someone wants to be a chef, I can highly recommend Sparkasse Krefeld. I'm very glad to get my training here, and have never regretted my choice of employer.”

Oliver Vanselow started to study chemical science at the University of Cologne, but quickly realised that chemistry wasn't for him. “There was too much theory for me, I wanted to get out and actually do things. That's why I quit my studies after one year.” Oliver then decided to train as a bank officer with Sparkasse Krefeld. Wasn't that quite an unusual change? “I asked myself: What am I really good at? From my part-time jobs as a student I knew that I was good at customer service. A bank training seemed like a good choice.”

While Oliver enjoys working with numbers and figures, what he appreciates most is engaging with customers. “I like the challenge of responding to the individual needs of each customer, and finding the best possible solution together.” In January, he successfully completed his training – and he is now full of praise for his employer. “It’s amazing what the Savings Bank has to offer, for example orientation days and a branch run entirely by trainees. And it takes really good care of its trainees. That's what sets Savings Banks apart from other banks.”

Oliver Vanselow hopes to be able to use his personal strengths in one-on-one customer discussions.