Concentrated knowledge in manufacturing technology
There are over 55 workshop managers whose primary task will be to ensure that the competition areas on site are fully prepared and that all the tools and other materials required are available. All of the workshop managers are unpaid volunteers, who freely give up their time for the event. That’s why we would like to introduce the behind-the-scenes heroes of EuroSkills 2020 in this blog.
Today, we are focusing on manufacturing and engineering technology. This area benefits from the concentrated knowledge and extensive experience of our four workshop managers Norbert Pfleger, Wolfgang Reich, Stefanie Löffler and Walter Ederer.
Along with his colleague Reinhard Puntigam, Norbert Pfleger is one of the two workshop managers for the welding skill. Years of experience have paved Norbert’s way to his role as workshop manager. Yet it was back in 2010 that he first became involved with the skills community, while working as an outfitter for vocational skills championships with his employer, Kemppi. Since then, he and his employer have become an indispensable part of the scene when it comes to national championships and international competitions. For AustrianSkills 2018, Norbert and Kemppi even managed to make two cars available to the welding champions for a year as an additional price. Being a workshop manager for EuroSkills 2020 in his own country is something that Norbert holds close to his heart. “I am a workshop manager because welding is what I do, and making this trade more popular among young people means a great deal to me. EuroSkills provides a perfect opportunity to find out everything there is to know about the trade, and in a fantastic setting, too.”
f.l.t.r. above: Reinhard Puntigam (Welding), Norbert Pfleger (Welding), Wolfgang Reich (Mechatronics). F.l.t.r. below: Christoph Wallner (Mobile Robotics), Stefanie Löffler (Mechanical Engineering Design- CAD), Walter Ederer (Eletronics).
For Wolfgang Reich, being a workshop manager provides an opportunity to combine his two passions in life: mechatronics and working with young people. The former technology consultant opted for a career change over eight years ago and now teaches mechatronics to young people attending a vocational school. One of Wolfgang’s main concerns is to convey all the aspects of a mechatronics training course and to show what can be achieved with an apprenticeship in this area. “Being a workshop manager is the perfect way to combine both of these aims, and that’s why I applied as soon as I found out about the opportunity to become a workshop manager. I am passionate about welding and EuroSkills is simply a wonderful opportunity to show what each skill and trade actually involves. There is often a lot more to it than you might think at first.”
Stefanie Löffler’s path to becoming a workshop manager in CAD design for EuroSkills 2020 in Graz started by chance back in 2016, when she came across a newspaper article about EuroSkills in Gothenburg and learned at the same time that Graz is to host the event in 2020. “I immediately felt the urge to attend, simply because it seemed to me like a very exciting project. However, at that time I didn’t yet know much about EuroSkills in Graz, and so I sort of forgot about it for a while,” says Stefanie. who works for an engineering company. “But when there started to be more about EuroSkills in the media, I googled it and found the application form for workshop managers on the EuroSkills 2020 website, and just sent off my application.” As a workshop manager, Stefanie’s main aim is to create an environment that enables the competitors to do their best work so that they end up leaving the competition area with a smile on their face. “I am so glad to be given this opportunity to be part of this event, to meet so many new people and experience the spirit of the European skills championships.”
The competitors in electronics can also look forward to having a workshop manager with many years of experience. Walter Eder, the workshop manager responsible for this skill, got in touch with EuroSkills through the Apprenticeship Office of the Styrian Economic Chamber. “When I learned about this project, I immediately said that I wanted to get involved.” No sooner said than done: he sent off a spontaneous application, and this very quickly led to him becoming a team member for 2020. Walter himself completed a “traditional” apprenticeship and also worked as a self-employed electrician. He has been working as a trainer for the past nine years and is also an examiner for the final apprenticeship examination. He is passionate about EuroSkills because this event provides the perfect stage for young people to show what they have learned. “I am fascinated by the enthusiasm young people have for their skill or trade. You can feel so much motivation and enthusiasm, you see great achievements unfold before you, and you get caught up in this spirit of motivation.”