If it’s the end of August, in Glashütte, in the hearth of German watchmaking, it means a new group of apprentices begin their training at Glashütte Original, at the company’s own “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking. Twenty-two of them will learn the craft of watchmaking, while four will be trained as toolmakers, making it a total of 80 apprentices currently in training.
The school bears the name of a former student, teacher and inventor of the flying tourbillon, Alfred Helwig. He wrote many books and magazine articles, the most well known being the “Fine adjustment of watches” and the series of books “The course of training at the German School of Watchmaking”.
At the school once headed by the famous inventor, the new students were welcomed by Hardy Köppe, who is responsible for training at Glashütte Original, and Gunnar Müller, head of the watchmaking school, at a festive event held at the German Watch Museum Glashütte. The new arrivals were then given the first of their tools and a tour of their future classrooms. The future watchmakers are about to begin an intensive three-year period of training; the apprentice toolmakers can expect to study for three and a half years.
In order to accommodate the students, who come from all over Germany, the capacity of the school was expanded last year by two new classrooms. The modern, well-equipped rooms are located on two floors in the school: with excellent teaching and learning conditions they offer the best possible conditions for a successful education of the highest quality.
Along with their training at the watchmaking school, during their studies the students gain practical experience in selected production and assembly areas of the manufactory. The goal is to have the students become familiar with watchmaking traditions and gain hands-on experience with modern craft techniques and procedures as well.
Great value is also placed on education at an international level, which is further underscored by a cooperative agreement between the “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking and the Swiss training program “WOSTEP” (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program). This partnership allows apprentices who pass the WOSTEP final exam to receive, in addition to their German skilled worker certificate, the WOSTEP Diploma.
Glashütte Original will again be offering apprenticeships for the professions of watchmaker and toolmaker this coming year. More detailed information about the educational program and professional opportunities can be found on the company’s website in the area listing current job offerings. The “Alfred Helwig” School of Watchmaking will be hosting an “open house” day on October 17, 2015: all interested persons are welcome.
Additional opportunities to learn more about the watchmaking school include the 22nd Education Action Day at the International Chamber of Commerce Dresden on 26 September 2015 and the “Career Startup 2016” Education Fair set for 22-24 January 2016 at the Dresden Fair.