The Festo Training Centre Jinan, located inside the Festo manufacturing base in Jinan, China, is the first full-scale training centre Festo has established outside of Germany. The goal is to introduce the successful German dual education system in China. Festo staff will be able to gain technology and management knowledge so that the requirements of the rapidly developing market in Asia can be met.
In 2011, Festo invested approximately one million Euros in setting up the training centre which covers an area of 1,300 m². This includes a fully equipped fitter room, traditional mechanical and CNC workshop, a control technique room – consisting of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric control techniques – as well as a training room for mechatronic systems, equipped with Festo Didactic equipment, computer skills, SAP and metrology.
The aim of the Training Centre is to offer vocational training for apprentices, further training for Festo employees, and to train specific target groups, e. g. team leaders and trainers, in subjects such as management, quality and technology.
Practical education concept
The training centre was created in collaboration with the AHK (Auslandshandelskammer), the German Chamber of Commerce Abroad, and the Jinan Vocational Training College. Partner companies like ZF Friedrichshafen and Stihl also contributed to the development of the practical and theoretical training programmes. The combination of both theory and practice is a hallmark of the dual education system, which is widely recognised as the best model of vocational training and is the highlight of the programme.
Since 2011, a total of 70 apprentices started a 3-year course in industrial mechanics at Jinan Vocational Training College. While the first year focuses on theory, the apprentices will spend half of the time during the second year working in a company to gain practical experience. The third year will be dedicated to on-the-job training in workshops. After graduation, apprentices can expect to take on highly qualified jobs at Festo or the partner companies.
In 2013, the Training Centre Jinan has expanded its curriculum by adding a course in mechatronics initially for Festo employees. In addition, a two-week training programme was designed and offered to 30 college teachers from all over China. This is an initiative by the Chinese Ministry of Education and supported by the Educational Bureau of the Shandong province.