SWAN trains the SAP professionals of tomorrow with sustainable education

Apprenticeship start 2023: Professional and personal development of next-generation employees

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SWAN focuses on the personal development of young professionals during their training and studies. Creative tasks allow for an accessible introduction to this complex topic. Source: © SWAN GmbH

Augsburg, 15.09.2023 – SWAN GmbH is starting the 2023/24 training and academic year with four new trainees and two dual students. Programs for training and development of new and existing employees are a high priority at the Great Place to Work® award-winning company. The in-house SWAN Academy handles individual professional as well as interdisciplinary and personal development plans and creates attractive career paths within the company. This form of sustainable and at the same time individual training and development measures supports the ambitious growth plans of SWAN GmbH at all locations.

“We are very committed to sustainable training,” says Günter Eckert, head of the SWAN Academy. “Specialists in the SAP logistics environment are rare, so we are targeting our young professionals of tomorrow. We are very pleased to be able to offer permanent employment to all of our trainees, dual students, and bachelor’s students who have completed their training this year. This shows that we are the attractive employer we want to be for young professionals. Our goal is to drive SWAN’s growth at our various locations by training the skilled workers of tomorrow.”

SWAN is currently training IT specialists for application development as well as commercial assistants for wholesale and foreign trade. There are also partnerships with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University DHBW Mosbach (Bachelor of Science, Business Information Technology) and, since January 2023, with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University DHBW Mannheim (Bachelor of Science, International Management for Business and Information Technology (IMBIT)). SWAN has already recruited two dual students for the IMBIT degree program for the first winter semester, who are affiliated with the Walldorf location. Four apprentices also started at the Giebelstadt and Nuremberg sites on September 1st.

Investment in education and training: Expansion of the SWAN Academy

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Sahin Aydin joins the SWAN Academy as a trainer and instructor. Source: © SWAN GmbH

In October 2021, SWAN established the SWAN Academy, a central office for SWAN’s education and training program. At that time, the Academy accompanied three apprentices and two dual students on their way into professional life. Today, the training area consists of 12 Young Talents. The SWAN Academy is investing in particular in the expansion of teaching content in the areas of specialist IT application development and business informatics. The appointment of Sahin Aydin as trainer and instructor will further expand the training curricula content. Aydin brings with him a broad range of practical experience as an SAP developer and, in addition to trainees and dual students, will in the future also be responsible for internal and external training in the SAP area.

Job-related training with technical as well as soft skills and values training.

SWAN strongly promotes practical and job-related training. Trainees and dual students are therefore given a joint, interdisciplinary introductory week to get to know the locations and employees of SWAN. In addition to networking, the focus here is on promoting soft skills and building a sense of teamwork. Initial training is provided in the areas of time management, communication and conflict management. Flexibility workshops follow after six to twelve months to ensure the learning effects and sustainability of the workshops. Values work is also given its due: as early as the first week of their training, the young talents deal with SWAN’s values in order to actively help shape them.

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Soft skill workshops on communication, time, and conflict management complement SWAN’s technical training. Source: © SWAN GmbH

Subsequently, the SWAN young professionals undergo basic training on SAP and specialist topics in the Academy. The knowledge acquired is then put into practice in the specialist departments to consolidate it. This in-depth technical training forms the basis for later professional life and the development of the student’s own professional personality profile. The trainees and dual students are accompanied by the higher semesters, who assist them as “training mentors” with technical questions.

Training coaching for personality development during career entry

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Günter Eckert, head of the SWAN Academy and IHK-certified training coach, accompanies the trainees and dual students as a learning process facilitator both professionally and methodically. Source: © SWAN GmbH

In addition to sound professional training, SWAN places great emphasis on the development of personality to shape an individual professional profile. Therefore, SWAN has integrated measures to promote independence and personal responsibility into the training plans. An important component is the appointment of a training coach and learning process facilitator. In addition to his work as head of the SWAN Academy, Günter Eckert has been assisting trainees and dual students as a certified training coach (IHK) since summer 2023. The IHK certification is based on an intensive one-week seminar and qualifies coaches to accompany learning processes during training and studies.

“Jobmatch Talent” analysis for precisely fitting takeover offers

At SWAN, the development of talents does not end after the completion of training or studies. So-called “Jobmatch Talent” analyses are designed to enable precisely fitting transfers after training, focusing on individual skills and preferences. “Particularly in times of a shortage of skilled workers and an employee market, it is important to offer customized employment opportunities and not standard offers. In this way, we offer career starters a decisive unique selling point, as they are allowed to bring their own individual personalities with them. This in turn creates a strong bond with us, SWAN,” says Manuela König, Director of Human Resources at SWAN. “We agree on individual qualification plans at the time of the takeover, which focus on professional and personal further training.”

Individual employee development beyond training

In addition, SWAN is developing career paths for the individual divisions that support SWAN’s sustainable growth – and at the same time offer long-term employees attractive options within SWAN. The SWAN Academy supports these plans with professional and interdisciplinary support measures. In 2023, the focus will be particularly on growth at the locations Augsburg, Giebelstadt, Nuremberg, and Walldorf; in 2024 new jobs will also be created for Dortmund and Graz.

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Which SWAN location was able to convince the young professionals the most? The joint reflection on the introductory week included the individual personalities of the trainees and dual students. Source: SWAN GmbH

The SWAN Academy’s training program is supplemented by individual continuing education courses for specialists and managers. In addition to training options agreed upon individually with the respective manager, SWAN offers all employees, for example, English language courses for every level with an external partner. In addition, cooperation with the Technical University of Würzburg was expanded to include empowerment coaching for employees without management experience. With this coaching, SWAN wants to strengthen the strengths of the employees as well as their self-confidence and their personal responsibility. After all, this is the only way to successfully implement agile working methods, self-managed teams, and work in the New Work environment.

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