Alexander Stirn, currently in his final exam phase of his apprenticeship with SWG Production, takes part in the latest Torque Magazine apprenticeship feature...
How did you get into the fastener industry?
In the vicinity of where I live, there are several larger manufacturers of fasteners, which I became aware of especially when looking for an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic. At a career information day, I came across the company SWG, which produces screws itself and, together with many other companies, belongs to the Würth Group. My first thoughts on the product screws were not spectacular, I thought of ordinary hardware store screws. In my internship, however, my interest was aroused, because there I learned that SWG does not produce ordinary DIY screws, but many different types of screws in all sizes. Among other things, they even produce screws for use in plastic or metal. But what fascinated me most were the ASSY screws, which are mainly used for wooden joints. These are available with many head shapes, threaded and tip types, which are selected depending on the use. As a result, I became more and more interested which convinced me to apply to this company.
How important is the training during your apprenticeship and how much of your everyday work is influenced by it?
Training is a very big part of my everyday life. In the training workshop you learn at the beginning the basic training content of the profession. But you also go through many departments in which you get to know the production of the screws in detail. From a wire section to a hardened screw with pressed head and rolled thread. These processes are very interesting and you also learn many things that are not typical for training. But you also get to know the departments, which prepare and manufacture tools or maintain machines. Basically, you learn something new every day.
What does a normal working day look like for you as an apprentice at SWG Production?
It depends on the department I’m working in. In production there is a regular working routine, daily tasks include
adjusting machines, changing tools and checking the screws produced. In the training workshop, on the other hand, there are daily new tasks or smaller projects to manufacture and complete. In summary, the training is very varied and no two days are the same.
Was there a lot of competition when you applied for the company's training programme?
Compared to larger companies in the area, there is less competition at SWG. Nevertheless, much emphasis is placed on choosing apprentices who also fit well into the company. As a result, the training is much more often done according to the ideas of the company and the trainee.
What are the chances of being taken on after completing your training?
The chances look very good. In the best case, you will find a department during the department run in which you would like to work after the training and there is a job there. In addition, there are opportunities to do further training in cooperation with the company after the training.
What is the best thing about being an apprentice at SWG Production?
The best thing is having access to very good training, where you are supported in every respect. You get to know many departments of the company. In this, there are training officers who take care of you and show you the tasks and the department. In addition, there is a trainer, where you learn all the job‐specific content and receive support with the school topics. Apart from that, there is a very pleasant working relationship at SWG, especially among colleagues.