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The craftsmanship component appeals to Lars van Lengerich “A desk job is out of the question for me.” Lars van Lengerich, apprentice toolmaker Precision and machine knowledge are part of it to know Phoenix Contact earlier. “I’m from this area, and my company has a great name here. And so I completed a threeweek internship here when I was younger.” A good case of avoiding the pitfall ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’: The 16- year old even tried out the Marines, “but that wasn’t for me at all.” Lars has been a permanent employee of Phoenix Contact since September 2019, commuting between vocational school, his specialist department, and the training workshop. The chips fly A question for Olaf Glatzer brought on by surprise: Are all trainees as informed and determined? “A good third are like Lars. They know exactly what they want and then follow their path single-mindedly.” But we hear over and over about declining graduate qualifications, about poor prior education, and low stamina? “As I said, a third of the trainees are like Lars. Two thirds need more attention,” says Glatzer, giving an insight into everyday life. “We are facing great challenges, because in the coming years a large number of the baby boomer generation will be retiring. The gaps being left are widening, and therefore we will have to do a great deal to train the necessary young talent to become skilled workers.” For Lars, his new profession is obviously exactly the right one. He skillfully clamps a workpiece in a lathe, guided by commentary from Martin Heringlake. Cautiously, the drill head mills forward and the chips fly. “In my private life, I am currently constructing a go-cart together with a friend, so I can apply what I’ve learned right away. And I’m already looking forward to the upcoming teaching content covering CNC and welding.” (lo) • phoenixcontact.com The Phoenix Contact innovation magazine UPDATE 5/20 35