A well-proven concept adpts to a new environment at the Pilatus subsidiary overseas. The vocational model so popular in Switzerland reveals new possibilities in hands-on training and value creation for the company. Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd
In Switzerland, the traditional dual training route combining class study with practical learning in a business environment is well established. But not in the USA, where this mode of training is still very much in its infancy. Our subsidiary in Broomfield plays a pioneering role in this respect.
Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd currently employs a workforce of around 120. Eight of them are apprentices in accounting, logistics and aircraft interior outfitting. In comparison, Pilatus in Stans employs more than 2,000 people and has over 130 apprentices in 13 different jobs. Apprentices in both companies are paid a competency-based salary with full benefits, e.g. the cost of school fees and required supplies is paid by Pilatus.
Apprenticeship training in the USA: A rarity
“While very common in Europe, the apprenticeship concept is not as well known here in the United States. It is an innovative way for young people to simultaneously develop valuable job skills and earn college credits”, comments Kaitlin West, who administers the apprenticeship programme at Pilatus in Broomfield. “Through our partnership with the Department of Labour as well as the community, we offer a unique opportunity for local youth who want a chance to grow with a successful and progressive company.”
Side by side with classroom study, apprentices at Broomfield are encouraged to acquire practical experience in many different positions in the company – from warehouse logistics management to accounting in the finance department. An additional bonus which is rare in the USA: apprentices get paid not only for their work, but also for attending college.
From apprenticeship to professional life with Pilatus
Pilatus offers valuable hands-on skills for the specific chosen profession as well as lifelong lessons in adapting to a professional work environment. The diploma awarded on completion of training is internationally recognised. The know-how acquired can be put to good use in many different industries and countries worldwide.
“We encourage our apprentices to remain with us after graduating to gain further professional experience”, explains Kaitlin West. Apprentices are free to apply for different positions within the company because of the skills they acquired during their training time at Pilatus. With many different career opportunities, an apprenticeship delivers a double payback – for company and trainee alike.