5 May 2022

Great success for Cargolux at LuxSkills

Luxembourg‘s national professional competition Luxskills was recently held at LuxExpo The Box, where trainees from more than 30 professional groups competed. Luxskill is the competition for trade where apprentices can prove their skills and compete against each other to find the best apprentice in Luxembourg. This national competition is part of WorldSkill, the world championship for apprentices. The winners of LuxSkills are eligible for the EuroSkills which is the next step before, if successful, competing in the WorldSkill event. These competitions comprise all areas of trade, such as hairdressers, locksmiths, car mechanics, florists, roofers, aestheticians, aircraft mechanics and avionics, and many more.

This year Cargolux was successfully represented by B1 mechanics and B2 avionics. The participants were Maximilian Boos (B1, 1st year apprentice), Killian Varniere (B1, 1st year apprentice), Ulrich Gierke (B1, 2nd year apprentice), Andre Oliveira (B1, 2nd year apprentice), Raoul Roller (B2, 1st year apprentice), and Miguel Ferreira (B2, 2nd year apprentice) among which Raoul Roller and Maximilian Boos won the first place in their respective categories. Raoul Roller is a first-year aircraft mechanic with a focus on avionics (B2) and Maximilian Boos is a first-year apprentice (B1) which is more specialized in mechanics. The two winners and the other participants were accompanied by their supervisor Frank Meysenburg who is responsible for the practical training at Cargolux and Marc Arendt the manager of maintenance training.

Over the course of the three-day competition about 11.000 visitors ranging from children in primary and secondary schools, principals, industry experts and politicians attended LuxSkills and it was marked by great enthusiasm among the visitors. Cargolux’s stand was especially popular with children and politicians, including the prime minister, Xavier Bettel and the minister of education Claude Meisch who asked the Cargolux’ trainees many questions. As Frank described, the politicians returned frequently to the stand and appreciated the trainee’s work and efforts. Frank also explained that there was great delight in the eyes of the children, and they marveled at Cargolux equipment. Indeed, the Cargolux stall featured 7.5 tons of equipment including a landing gear and an engine, whose transportation to the competition was nothing short of a challenge. The significance of the competition is also expressed by all the efforts taking place behind the scenes, notably by Frank and Marc. The huge logistical task had to be planned as well as the time management, tasks and all papers, special tools and documents.

During the competition, the trainees received several tasks to be executed as if they were working on a real aircraft. Once the group of apprentices received their tasks, they organized themselves with regards to time management and structured their work so as not to disturb each other. Since there were many visitors and they were evaluated along the way, they had to work under pressure and under constant observation. All the trainees did an excellent job at executing their task and eventually, they succeeded incredibly.

The jury was composed of professors from school, industry experts and trade experts. They monitored the trainees during the practical tests on the equipment. They evaluated several core competencies such as the job preparation including the conceptual formulation, discussions about the work structure, the preparation of the workstation and the safety regulations, for example. A very important part within all these core competencies was the self-reflection and the evaluation of the teamwork capacities of the participants. Although teamwork was a crucial part in the assessment of the trainee’s skills, they were ultimately rated individually.

For the apprentices the experience at LuxSkills was highly valuable not just because they received the first prize in 3 categories. They received the first place for winning the LuxSkill competition but also the award of the chambre de commerce and the award on the national level.

Both winners Max and Raoul explained that they were very surprised when their name was announced for the first place. Max even explained that he “was not sure if he was dreaming or if it really happened” because he saw more potential in his fellow colleagues. They enjoyed presenting the job and their skills and it was important to both of them to bring the visitors closer to their job. Max and Raoul really emphasized that participating in the competition was all about motivation. They became aware of where they stand in their apprenticeship concerning their skills and what they are already able to achieve. Taking part in the competition was a great opportunity to develop further as a team as well as individually. The two trainees confirmed that the whole participation including their enormous success gave them a considerable boost and motivation. For Frank and Marc, their mentors, it was no different. They showed pride in their trainees and, consequently, in the quality of the education and training the trainees receive at Cargolux.

The whole aim of LuxSkills is to support young ambassadors of professional training in Luxembourg and be inspired by their talent. Visitors were able to explore different trades through various practical workshops and thus learn about them in a concrete way. This is especially important for students who have finished school and need to decide what direction to take. They had the opportunity to find out about professional training and apprenticeships from companies which were present.  Marc underlined the importance of the competition since Cargolux’s apprenticeship scheme is not very widely known.

The presence of the companies was a great opportunity for students to find guidance and for companies to present themselves and attract attention to their apprenticeships. Cargolux is determined to keep motivating apprentices and providing them not only with training but also giving them career perspectives at Cargolux. Frank and Marc confirmed that the best way to have good people is that they are motivated from the start and that they know that they have professional opportunities after the apprenticeship.

The two winners expressed their motivation to pursue the next step and participate in the EuroSkill competition. Participating in the EuroSkills and eventually in the WorldSkills is an impressive achievement that can be described as the “Olympics for Trainees” as Frank underlined to point out the magnitude of the events. Unfortunately, the EuroSkills taking place in Lyon this year as well as the EuroSkills in Warsaw in 2023 are already fully booked. However, Marc is working hard to get them a spot in one of the following EuroSkills so our in-house winner, Max and Raoul can showcase their skills and strengths on an international level.

Another important and valuable takeaway beside the motivation and appreciation was the relationship between the trainees and their supervisors. Max highlighted that the relationship between employee and employer was already at a great level but experiencing this success together strengthened their bond. The two trainees pointed out that they enjoyed showing what they learned so far and making their supervisors proud. This experience also enabled them to deepen their relationship with other parts of the organization such as Human Resources.

For Cargolux and its trainees, LuxSkills was a tremendous success. The event was a great opportunity for the company to gain awareness and to make people conscious of what Cargolux can offer in terms of apprenticeship and training. Finally, Marc and Frank expressed how appreciative they were of the apprentices and the training process itself. Most importantly, this was a valuable experience for all the participating trainees and all of them can be truly proud of their achievements.