What training in rare trades brings

Bonn / Berlin (dpa / tmn) – glassblower, woodturner or bow maker: there are very few trainees in certain professions, especially in skilled trades. Aren’t these professions dying soon anyway? And should you refrain from training?

First of all, these are not dying jobs, but scarce jobs, explains Monika Hackel of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Bonn. It is much more common for jobs that are technically obsolete to become new jobs. The activities of typographers and flexographers, for example, which belong to the printing house, are now part of the profession of trainer of designer of digital and printed media.

Traditional knowledge in new professions

Old craft knowledge is combined with new media and formats and is not simply lost. According to the expert, however, the name of the trades is often retained – while the trades and associated training are constantly evolving. The stonemason or carpenter should be mentioned here.

The BIBB monitors dual vocational training in Germany and updates or revises the content of the training in collaboration with the social partners if necessary. It rarely happens that an apprenticeship profession is completely dissolved, Hackel says.

Know the diversity of training professions

While most have heard of media design, there are also many small and rare professions whose names are often even unknown. “We seldom come across rare professions in everyday life, but we cannot imagine our life without them, for example the makers of brushes and musical instruments,” says Volker Born, expert in vocational training at the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH) in Berlin. Self-initiative and research are important for learning about lesser-known professions.

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Your own environment can also be decisive, as the example of hunter Franco Adamo shows. Having found no apprenticeship as a designer, his father encouraged him to try hunting. Similar to stonemasons, carvers work with scissors or files: they cast bronze and work on surfaces to create emblems and sculptures.

Passion for art and architecture in organ building

For Judith Macherey, on the other hand, a voluntary cultural year (FKJ) in the preservation of historic monuments was decisive. So she came to Klais, an organ building workshop in Bonn. The high school graduate was then able to translate her weakness for art and architecture by working on the organ.

After FKJ she started organ builder training in Klais and is currently working on her final exam. She doesn’t believe this rare profession is dying. Even Franco Adamo, who has worked as a hunter for 40 years, is not afraid that his profession will be threatened by technological progress. “No 3D printer can create such molded relief and bring a character to life.”

Niche specialists – also in demand internationally

For Judith Macherey, the organ parts of the 3D printer are just a mental game: “Each organ is unique and is designed to adapt to the respective room and its acoustics. This would not be possible in production. mass. I think that a sound body which is made by only one machine. has been made, cannot be beautiful. “” Moreover, “said Adamo,” modern machines such as the CNC milling machine are a good addition to the craft. “

It often takes a special daring to choose a rare profession. A change of location is often necessary to find a corresponding training company or vocational school. And since there are usually only a few companies in these particular fields, you may need to go into self-employment after completing your training.

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If you’re passionate about it, you can also maintain your own niche position as a unique selling point and sometimes even be in demand internationally. “An organ remains where it is, you have to come in yourself to repair it”, explains Macherey.

Better to learn something rare than nothing

Monika Hackel points out that although it turns out that the apprenticeship profession cannot be exercised throughout life, it is good to have completed an apprenticeship. “With completed training, the risk of permanent unemployment is on average four times lower than without a diploma”.

After all, you gain work experience in the course of your apprenticeship and you also acquire a lot of cross-curricular skills. Additional qualifications or additional qualifications can build on this. The rule is this: learned something rare rather than learned nothing. “With an apprenticeship as a metal sculptor specializing in the shear technique, you have a foundation and could study architecture or design, for example,” says Adamo.

In addition, culture and tradition also play a role in training for rare trades. “Some cultural experiences and techniques cannot be written down in books – or only insufficiently. To be preserved, they can only be passed on adequately from generation to generation – from master to companion,” says Volker Born.

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