UMB massively expands capacity for ICT vocational training.

Cham, October 4 - The IT service provider UMB continues to invest in the promotion of young talent in the IT sector. Starting in 2022, the company will hire 8 to 10 new ICT apprentices each year instead of the current 4 to 5. This will increase the number of positions for apprentices and interns at UMB from currently 16 to 18 to between 36 and 40 in 2025. Young talents will then represent 8 to 9 percent of the company's Swiss workforce. In order to be able to continue to provide comprehensive support for apprentices the company is also expanding the number of vocational trainers. In addition to Young Talents Team Leader Roger Schweingruber and two colleagues responsible for apprentices on a part-time basis, Pascal Wartenweiler will join the team on a 100 percent basis as of January 1, 2022. The team of vocational educators will thus grow to a total of 2.4 full-time positions. The team will also be supported by numerous technical instructors. All open apprenticeship positions for the computer scientist EFZ four-year vocational training program beginning in 2022 have been filled after the recruitment started in late summer 2021. 

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Roger Schweingruber
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Addressing the shortage of skilled workers

Matthias Keller, CEO and owner of UMB, wants to counteract the shortage of skilled workers: "We want to promote even more young talent by expanding our own training capacity in order to be able to cover part of our growth with internal staff". Every year, the company has many new positions to fill according to the UMB CEO. "After four years of training, apprentices know the company very well and immediately contribute productively added value to the company's success. In addition, unlike new IT employees, they are already familiar with our company culture which is a factor that should not be underestimated", he says. Over the last four years, all those who wanted to stay with UMB after their apprenticeship have been offered a job.


Personality is more important than grades

UMB's corporate culture includes the firm belief that the personality of applicants is crucial to the overall success of their training. Roger Schweingruber comments: "We always look at all applications thoroughly and not just in terms of school grades. Soft skills, such as the ability to work in a team and the willingness to learn and work hard are just as important to us when selecting apprentices. Most of them develop favorably during the four years of training, says the Young Talents Team Leader. After the apprenticeship, some of the graduates go on to obtain a vocational baccalaureate or study computer science at university while working part-time at UMB. Schweingruber says that the overriding goal is to keep as many as possible in the company.


UMB teaching method recognized

UMB does not only attach great importance to the personality of apprentices during the recruitment process. The training method is also highly aligned with the individual characteristics of the trainees. The apprentices can register their preferences for different specialist topics - their wishes will be accommodated wherever possible. They will work in two to three different technology teams during the last two years of their apprenticeship and are allowed to choose the team in which they would like to do their final thesis for their field of specialization, such as cloud computing, collaboration, networks, SAP operations, security, service desk, workplace, etc. Last year, UMB was awarded the "ICT Education & Training Award" by the Swiss ICT Vocational Training Association in the category "Companies with more than 100 ICT employees" for this holistic and flexible training model.


Individual initiative required

"We support innovative training models such as the one of UMB," says Serge Frech, Managing Director of ICT Vocational Training Switzerland. "The fact that apprentices at UMB can plan their own apprenticeship and tailor it to their own preferences strengthens motivation and personal responsibility and promotes a sense of belonging to the company, so that apprentices stay with the company even after they have completed their training." According to him, the method and the fact that UMB is now doubling its training capacity is a model example that should be followed by as many other companies in all industries as possible. "Countering the ICT skills shortage requires the companies to take an active approach and invest in the next generation of employees. With an apprentice ratio of up to 9 percent UMB is setting a good example”, he says.

UMB offers me a perfect environment. I benefit from this and it is fun to develop myself further.

Pedro Maleiro, System Engineer, UMB