In a nutshell:
Our colleague Bastian takes part in the WorldSkills Championships as an apprentice and is now one of the best young professionals in his field
Result: 6th place at the German Championships in the 'CNC milling' category
At the same time, he completes his training with top marks
Well prepared thanks to trainers, colleagues and apprentice workshop
"I will definitely pass my training with a 1." This sentence dropped in Bastian's job interview in 2021 and left an impression. He put his promise into practice. This summer, he completed his shortened training as a Cutting Machine Operator with top marks. But that's not all: In addition, he is now one of the best young professionals in his field and took sixth place at the German WorldSkills Championships for apprentices and young professionals in the 'CNC milling' category.
How did it come about? Stephan, one of his two trainers, had the idea for the participation: "Bastian has a special perceptive faculty and demonstrates great skill in programming. We recognized and used participation in the WorldSkills as a special challenge for him." To this end, our company covered all the costs and provided Bastian with the necessary time off to prepare for the competition. After registering, the first step was to complete the preliminary qualifications, in which Bastian had to solve various tasks – some of them on site at the organizer in Baden-Württemberg, the CNC machine manufacturer Chiron.
"For the qualifying rounds, I had to travel to Tuttlingen several times in spring - and that was in the middle of my exam period," Bastian recounts. "That was quite challenging. The appointments were so close together that I studied for my final exam in the hotel in the evenings. I was glad that we had already discussed the material intensively at ROSEN through the exam preparation with our two trainers. So I was already well prepared." Despite a tight schedule, Bastian delivered outstanding performance in both his theoretical and practical exams, as well as in the qualifying rounds for the competition. He completed his training with best marks and qualified, almost 'incidentally', for the final of the German Championship 'WorldSkills Germany'.
This meant that another trip to the south of Germany was on the agenda in mid-July. A total of twelve participants had qualified for the German Championships in the category 'CNC milling', whereby our former apprentice was the only participant from northern Germany. For three days, various challenges awaited the young professionals, who had to prove their skills.
"On the first day, we first had time to set up the PC with our personal settings. Then we had three hours to program a task, i.e. to draw a component and insert the toolpaths. In the afternoon, we went to the machine. The next day was a bit trickier, because the requirements changed in the middle of the machining process. Of course, everyone had to be flexible and think in terms of solutions," Bastian summarizes his experience. "Finally, on day 3, we received a half-finished model that we had to adapt according to the requirements – with small tolerances and in a narrow time window."
To support Bastian, our colleagues Rieko (Head of Mechanic Fabrication Processes), Konstantin (Head of Shop Floor Machining) and trainer Stephan were also on site on the last day. Konstantin says: "I was particularly impressed by how Bastian independently familiarized himself with an unfamiliar offline programming system in just two and a half months. We use Hypermill at ROSEN, but at the WorldSkills everything had to be processed with MasterCAM. For most participants, no problem, but for Bastian, absolutely uncharted territory." Rieko adds: "The operating system of the Chiron machines is also different and Bastian only had a total of six days on one of the machines before competing in the finals. The fact that he barely knew both the programming tool and the operating system was not noticeable during the competition."
"The biggest challenge for me was the time pressure in the exams. In some cases, I needed to write the toolpaths on the machine. That was really stressful. The spontaneous changes during the tasks, on the other hand, didn't bother me at all. In this respect, the training at ROSEN definitely helped me a lot," Bastian looks back with a laugh. "Overall, it was an exciting experience and a lot of fun. I'm really grateful to ROSEN that I got this opportunity and was given time off for the competition. The support from my colleagues was also great. I was on my own when learning MasterCAM, but they still had some helpful tips for me."
Overall, Bastian finished the competition as the sixth-best apprentice in his training occupation in Germany. A great result, according to trainer Michael: "He can be really proud of that. We are pleased that the judges of the competition see the same potential in Bastian's abilities as we do."
What was the key to success for Bastian? Quite clearly: "During my training, I was often confronted with complex challenges and faced requirements for which there are no 'standard solutions'. That's how I learned to react with a lot of flexibility, to think outside the box or to think around corners, for example when manufacturing prototypes. Of course, it's also an advantage that we have our own apprentice workshop with state-of-the-art machines on which we can try out a lot. From my point of view, if you're up for it and committed, you'll have plenty of opportunities with us."
That's why Bastian is continuing his path at ROSEN after his training – recently as a Junior Cutting Machine Operator. We wish him every success in this new position and say: Congratulations on your great achievements!