Career Choice – The Route to an Apprenticeship at Pilatus
The tenth anniversary edition of the traditional Info Event for pupils and their parents took place in January 2019. What better opportunity to take a closer look at this event and the route to an apprenticeship at Pilatus? Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
The Info Event is the main presentation platform for all our Pilatus apprentice training courses. Pupils who are interested in a career with Pilatus are welcome to visit the site in Stans for a first breath of aviation air and a chance to talk to our apprentices and trainers.
The info event then and now
The first Info Event for a total of nine professions was held on 1 May 2010. Training in four additional careers has been added since, with a corresponding increase in visitor numbers. There were 134 visitors at the first event. Numbers grew steadily ever since to reach a record of 463 in 2018. In 2019, we welcomed 387 visitors to the tenth edition of the Info Event.
With the exception of a few minor modifications, the event has remained the same since it was first launched in 2010. For the past ten years, it has been organised by a committee comprising the Executive Board of the Trainees’ Association and our Vocational Trainers. With feedback from participants and a growing wealth of experience, the event has become increasingly professional. Full use is now made of available digital technology, for example, and visitors no longer have to fill out forms manually.
In what is perhaps the biggest change to date, the event is now staged in January. Various career stand locations have been tested over the past ten years: the current venue – the spacious Final Assembly Hall – is an excellent spot and a favourite with our visitors, who are delighted by the aircraft on display.
The next stage in choosing a career and final course of training is a trial apprenticeship. No matter whether applicants have already made up their minds or are still hesitating, a trial course is an obligatory step in the route to final apprenticeship training. Besides being very valuable for the candidates themselves, they also allow our trainers to form a first impression of the applicants. This is helpful in the final selection of future apprentices. Here at Pilatus, trial apprenticeships last a half-day to five days, depending on the type of training.
223 pupils completed a trial apprenticeship in 2018. Given that most apprenticeship vacancies at Pilatus are in polymechanics and production engineering, it is not surprising that these are the two disciplines which attracted the highest number of trial applicants – 61 last year. No fewer than twelve new apprentices will embark on training in this field in summer 2019. In terms of popularity, our trial courses in plant-equipment building and design engineering were second and third in 2018, with 29 and 28 pupils respectively.
Once the trial courses are complete, there is a final “hurdle” to be overcome in the shape of aptitude tests. These tests are designed to highlight existing skills and interests and determine suitability for the chosen career. These standardised tests are used and recognised all across Switzerland. They either have no bearing on any career profile (basic check) or, on the contrary, are based on a specific course of training (multi-check).
Application and start of training
With the trial course and aptitude test behind them, candidates who are still interested in their chosen career can now start to think about applying for a place on an apprentice training course: applications for courses starting the following summer are accepted from June.
Successful applicants will be invited for interview – an opportunity to show themselves at their best! If the interview goes well, the candidate will normally receive a letter of acceptance and can now look forward to starting his or her training, and perhaps a future career, at Pilatus.
An informative Saturday morning in 2019
Ahead of the Info Event, participants received an invitation and boarding pass with check-in and departure times. Divided into three groups, attendees and their parents arrived at the Pilatus headquarters in Stans on Saturday morning, 26 January 2019.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Trainees’ Association gave a one-hour introductory talk about the company and the training courses on offer at Pilatus. Participants were then free to visit the different career stands set up in the Final Assembly Hall. Trainers and apprentices were at hand throughout to answer questions from the potential recruits and their parents. Visitors had ample time to wander around the hall and collect information.