Machines in automotive engineering are getting bigger and bigger. Added to this is the change in driving technique. Now the feasibility study should provide clarity.
It appears to be a contradiction coined by the principal of the school, Gottfried Goebel. The 62-year-old applauds the fact that Mindelheim Vocational School is ideally equipped by the financial spending company, Unterallgäu County. Indeed: millions of euros have flowed into building development over the years. Added to this is the new construction of the Technical School, another multi-million dollar project. However, the shoe pinches, and violently.
A total of 1,212 young people undergo their vocational training at Mindelheim alone. There is no longer enough space for about a quarter of those being trained in the buildings on Hermelestrasse. At least 500 square meters of space is missing.
Vehicle technology is entirely located in this area. Commercial vehicle mechatronics technicians are taught there in theory and practice, as are commercial vehicle metalworkers, professional drivers, commercial vehicle metalworkers, mechatronic technicians in agricultural and construction machinery, and agricultural trades. Even if everyone was never there at the same time due to group lessons, it had long since become very cramped on campus.
The number of students in the vocational school for mechatronics agricultural machinery and construction is increasing
There are many reasons for this. The school is enrolling increasing numbers of students in agricultural and construction machinery mechanics. There are currently 324 chapters in 13 chapters, Goble says. There are also 273 professional drivers, 174 vehicle mechanics technicians, 27 metal workers for the commercial vehicle sector in two classes and 21 full-time students in the basic vocational school year in agriculture and 44 in specialist levels.
The district has equipped the school well, which pays off in digitization. Mindelheim Vocational School is also well staffed with teachers – who are also highly motivated, Göppel emphasizes. But as job descriptions are currently changing dramatically, the school sees itself as having a noticeable problem with space.
The space required for many training branches has increased over the years. “We have additional requirements that are not great,” says Göppel. If the school is to remain a center of competence in the future, improvements must be made here.
There is a risk that the trainees will leave the vocational school
He cites the change in driving technology as an example. High voltage technology now plays a major role. This competency is required by companies. If Mindelheim cannot provide this, there is a risk that the interns will emigrate. The head of the school says that high-voltage technology for trucks “must be offered by the Mendelheim Vocational School”. However, there is no space for this purpose in Hermelestraße. To some extent, e-mobility is also on top of training in combustion engines, which will continue to be available for the next few years. Göppel was only recently at the big construction machinery fair in Munich, Bauma. There he was able to see another change for himself: many machines get bigger and bigger.
And they get electricity. Because the end of automobile internal combustion engines also means alternative drives are on the rise for construction machinery. Göppel saw concrete mixers and vibrating machines that are powered only by electricity.
The school principal mentions that security is the second problem. Due to lack of space, some lessons are conducted in the inner courtyard. Residents have access rights here and pedestrians can cross the site, even if the prohibition sign attempts to prevent it during class time. Since schoolchildren have to cross Hermelestraße several times a day, there is also a particular danger of this.
The vocational school in Mindelheim wants to keep pace with change
The school wants to actively participate in this change in the professional world. Ultimately, Goebel asserts, keeping us thriving also depends on it. However, there is currently a shortage of training space at Hermelestrasse. Goebel explains that there is a need for adequate rooms for new educational content about new technologies such as hydrogen use, battery technology, and other things. Increasing digitization in all areas using semi-autonomous guidance systems, inter-vehicle communication or telemetry requires additional space.
The fact that practical lessons have to take place outdoors on a truck in the yard is also unsustainable in the long run. According to Goebel, the college’s workshop and room buildings in particular do not correspond to the state of a modern center of competence. Investments were made in improvements, such as the central ventilation system. But this is no longer enough. There is also a lack of open space for testing farm machinery.
The District Office is well aware of the tense situation. It is a central task for the district as the bearer of material expenses for the care of the building’s structure, the press office reports in general. This topic was also discussed in the relevant committees of the District Council. After consulting with the government of Swabia, according to the district authority, it turned out that the square foot space for the building would be sufficient. The problems are design and usability, or distribution between regions, “where workshop areas are particularly poor,” according to the district office. The area should first clarify the question of “whether we can change anything about this”.
This is what the district director says about the problem in the vocational school
District Manager Alex Eder says: “We are currently working hard to develop one or more of the proposed solutions. Vocational school locations are always subject to change in particular because they have to respond to the demands of the world of work.” The district did not want to give an estimate of how much money is required. The Swabian government has funded The vocational school has already been renovated in general, but now the situation has changed, so school director Göppel hopes to find a workable solution for the benefit of trainees and companies.
The feasibility study for the Hermelestraße area should now be clarified. Göppel hopes to have this available before the end of this year. Announcing that the area manager is working on a solution as quickly as possible makes him confident. If an extension was not possible there, a completely new approach would have to be taken.
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