By Sgt. Brian Rodan, 5th Signal CommandNovember 13, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany (November 6, 2012) -- Having the qualifications to land an information technology job can be a challenge for some, but with 5th Signal Command's three-year apprenticeship program, German local nationals receive all the qualifications needed to get that desired IT job.
In September 2003, 5th Signal Command started its first apprenticeship program in the Information Technology (IT) arena for local national employees. 5th Signal Command hired eight interns for this program who graduated in July 2006 and were able to find employment on the German economy as IT professionals.
Gerd E. Drechsler, commander, 6981st Civilian Support Group, said, "It's an apprenticeship program to help local nationals become IT System Electronics Technicians after three years of education and on the job training. They also receive a certification through the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK)."
"Intern positions in the IT program are one of the most sought after trainings for local national high school graduates in Germany. There are approximately 4,000 applicants competing for 20 intern positions at firms such as SAP (System Analysis and Program Development)," said Mr. Reinhard Ruf, 5th Signal Command International Personnel Programs Manager.
Apprentices are trained for a total period of three years which begins with three weeks on-the-job training and one week of formal school training provided by the German authorities free of cost. Upon completion, the apprentices take an examination and get certified as IT Specialists.
"After successful completion of 5th Signal Command's program the LNs have good job prospects because the number of individuals trained in the field of telecommunications is low and therefore highly needed," Drechsler said.
5th Signal Command's intern program provides unique training on a variety of systems that the LNs wouldn't be able to find through traditional training. They also gain the opportunity to sharpen their English language skills.
Drechsler said, "We cover a wide field of techniques and materials such as copper and fiber optic cable for in-house installation and outside installation. This includes overhead and underground installation work, specialized test measurement diagnostic equipment and mechanical devices (TMDE) as well as some additional training."
The introduction of this program within 5th Signal Command has resulted in the training of qualified IT Specialists and it also affords young people the opportunity to get a top notch education in the computer field.
"Compared to similar training on the economy, 5th Signal Command offers training on a variety of systems, and employees have the unique opportunity to also improve their English language ability," said Ruf.