Tellco Ltd offers young people attractive apprenticeships with excellent prospects for the future. Training manager Angela Bissig reveals why vocational training is particularly important for the company, what matters with applications, and what apprentices can expect behind the scenes at a pension provider.
Apprenticeships have a long tradition in Switzerland and are the most popular form of initial training. There is a good reason for that: the dual education system is a great success story that is appreciated by both the apprentices and the companies which employ them. What makes apprenticeships unique is the combination of practical expertise and vocational theory taught in parallel. “At Tellco, we try to involve the apprentices as much as possible from day one so that they can experience and shape our day-to-day work,” says Angela Bissig, training manager at Tellco Ltd. Apprentices are an essential part of many companies, and Tellco is no different. “At present, we have four trainee commercial assistants, one trainee draughtswoman in the fourth year of her apprenticeship, and we have just been given authorisation to run apprenticeships for the profession of IT Specialist (Systems Engineering) EFZ,” Angela Bissig adds. “We are right in the recruitment process for summer 2019.”
Meaningful work with a future
At the start of an apprenticeship, the subject of pensions is still very theoretical and abstract, of course, Angela Bissig admits: “But alongside the practical knowledge that our apprentices acquire through working in various departments, we also offer a number of blocks of theory over the three years.” This is an important prerequisite for success at work – after all, every job is based on both practical ability and specific professional knowledge. “The apprentices talk to clients on the phone, write letters and e-mails, and work on dossiers and quotes,” Angela Bissig explains. “This way, they experience up close what our daily work involves and are in active contact with clients via the front office.” For many, the choice of sector is secondary when it comes to looking for an apprenticeship. But anyone who opts for Tellco benefits twice, says Angela Bissig: “Working every day to secure a good pension for our clients is immensely satisfying and gives you a very positive feeling.” What is more, social security and occupational pensions are broad fields of knowledge from which you can also derive great personal benefit.
Insights into various departments
Trainee commercial assistants at Tellco work in up to six different departments during their three-year apprenticeships, including Benefit Services, Contract Management, Financial Accounting, Human Resources/Office Management, Sales Support and Investment. The training manager takes the apprentices’ wishes into consideration wherever possible. Within the departments, the apprentices have practical instructors, who support them in their daily work and are responsible for the Working and Learning Situations (ALS), a review scheme for reporting on the apprentice’s performance and behaviour. The results are integrated into the qualification procedure (QV – formerly known as the “final apprenticeship exam“, LAP). Angela Bissig meets the practical instructors from the various departments once every three to four months for an update.
Regular contact with the apprentices is also important to Angela Bissig. She meets with each of them once a month for half an hour. “I use these meetings to gauge the situation and find out how they are doing and how they can develop further,” she says. It is tangible how much enjoyment she gets from working with the young adults. This task is more than just a job to Angela Bissig: “I’m particularly passionate about encouraging our young trainees to take responsibility for their own apprenticeships. It’s great to see them develop into independent, well-educated members of the workforce.” Angela Bissig follows her own recipe, which is: have lots of faith – and tell them what to do as little as possible. “My response to questions is often to ask a question back in order to stimulate independent thinking,” Angela Bissig reveals.
A myriad of career opportunities
In today’s world of business, a good employee constitutes no longer only someone who merely receives instructions and then executes them systematically. We need professionals who are trained to a good standard in a broad range of subjects. The independent thinking expected of them requires knowledge. During their apprenticeships, apprentices can accumulate an enormous wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge, thereby laying a solid foundation for the future and giving them a wide range of opportunities. Angela Bissig attaches particular importance to high-quality recruitment. “In addition to their school record, the most important thing for me to find out is how motivated and interested in the profession and Tellco the applicant is,” she says. After a successful interview, the applicant is invited to come and get a taste of what it is like to work at Tellco. If everything is right for both parties, it is time for what Angela Bissig describes as the best moment of all – calling the applicant to tell them: “You have a place on an apprenticeship – welcome to Tellco.”