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RHI Magnesita has strong roots at its locations and strives to maintain a socially responsible relationship with the communities. Being socially responsible is more than performing one-off actions.
We want to make an impact and contribute positively to the improvement of living conditions. This is why we support social projects as well as projects in various areas such as sports, culture, education and environment.
In our global program we focused on the improvement of technical vocational training. The goal was to offer demand-oriented vocational training in order to improve young people’s qualifications on the job market, since especially this group is disproportionately affected by unemployment in emerging countries. At the same time, demand of companies for skilled workers is growing. Thus, the program has benefited both sides: society and companies.
Tailored to the needs of two locations – Eskisehir, Turkey, and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico – and together with local partners as well as the Austrian development organization ICEP, technical vocational training programs were developed or improved and integrated in existing structures.
The Austrian Development Agency supported the 3-year project in cooperation with the Austrian Development Bank by funding 50% of the project costs. The local stakeholders carry on the activities also after the project duration, which ensures sustainability.
At our production site in Ramos Arizpe we set up dual training programs for electricians, toolmakers and mechatronics technicians. The lead cooperation partner was the Mexican employers’ association Coparmex. The training program lasts three years, the first year is accomplished at school, followed by two years of practical training at companies. Graduates receive a qualification officially recognized by the Mexican Ministry of Education. Also teachers from vocational schools receive training and master craftsmen from companies are trained as internal instructors.
The first pilot course was launched in 2013 with 68 apprentices in 11 companies, 4 of them were employed at our company. In the year 2014 93 apprentices, in autumn 2015 87 apprentices started the training. In total, 23 companies and 248 apprentices were involved in the program in Ramos Arizpe and Saltillo during the project duration of three years. In addition, 36 teachers and 84 instructors were trained.
Experience shows that the project contributed significantly to the implementation of a demand-based dual vocational training program. Through their practical training at companies, young people gained skills which increase their chances on the job market. At the same time, companies also benefit from training their prospective skilled workers.
The activities are carried on by the local stakeholders after the project end. The fourth course in autumn 2016 with 108 new apprentices was a strong signal on the sustainability of the measures. The program was also regarded as a best practice example and has already been expanded by further courses and to other federal states in Mexico.
At our production site in Eskisehir, Turkey, we strengthened the theoretical and practical training of pupils as industrial mechanics and industrial electricians by integrating the industry. The Turkish foundation TEGEV acted as lead partner and cooperated closely with other partners such as the local industrial association and vocational high schools.
In addition to the improvement of curricula, the skills of teachers and internal instructors were also strengthened to better adjust the requirements of theory and practice to one another.
The technical training of pupils in Turkey lasts four years. Three years are spent at school, followed by one year of practice as internship at a company. One of the most difficult tasks of the project was to improve the practical experience of the students. For the first time, 82 11th grade students were taught by teachers and company instructors as part of a pilot course. A new approach in Turkey, since dual training has no tradition there. At the site in Eskişehir, 36 students were accepted as apprentices.
For further information on the Youth Employability Program please have a look at our information folder.
The program “Wissensakademie sozial” (Knowledge academy social) has the objective of education of children at an early age.
It focuses on children (4-6 years) with a mother tongue other than German and coming from lower-income and poorly educated families.
Together with scientists and experts, children explore different areas of natural sciences such as mathematics, physics or chemistry in a playful way. As a forerunner, we supported kindergarten children for a period of 2 years and thus ensured that the offer was available to them free of charge.
The company opened a hospital near the plant in Venkatapuram at the beginning of 2017, which provides medical help for the people of the community. Its construction was supported by us and our employees. The villagers and the company donated land; furthermore, the hospital was supported by the employees with numerous donations.
The Volunteer Program encourages the employees to express their social engagement by participating in various projects supported by the company. Employees who want to help people in need develop a wide range of initiatives every year focusing on the communities around the plants. The volunteers work to share their knowledge and to support education, culture and sport.
This project focuses on children and teenagers in Brumado and supports their participation in swimming and judo classes to strengthen bonds between the community and the company. Around 1,000 children and young people have participated in the project so far, which also aims at delivering basic knowledge about citizenship.
This program, with classroom lessons and an e-learning platform, supports employees of the company and people in the neighboring communities in completing their elementary and secondary school studies. Until now, around 1,000 people have benefited from the project.
This program contributes to the digital inclusion of people of the communities around the Brumado plant by giving them access to the opportunities of the digital world and improving their digital skills. We supported the construction and renovation of the building and help every month with the payment of teachers, electricity and maintenance of this learning open space. Currently around 400 people use the facility regularly.
Furthermore, RHI Magnesita is active at its sites in several other ways such as: