“Prepare skilled workforce to meet the company's growth demands” was WEG´s founders, Werner, Eggon, and Geraldo, initiative in 1968.
During a business trip to different factories in Germany, Werner, Eggon, and Geraldo found out that German factories used to offer training courses to young individuals. Jaraguá do Sul, at the time, was still a small town, therefore not much was industrialized and the population consisted of those not having the knowledge or skills to work in the industry. So with this dilemma, the founders decided to create a training school inside the company's premises, which was named CentroWEG.
Established in April of 1968, the WEG Training Center (CentroWEG) allowed more than 3600 students (ages 16 and 18 years old) to be trained. Consisting of eight learning courses: machining, electromechanical assembly, electronics, electrotechnology, mechanical maintenance, tooling shop mechanics, chemistry and IT programming, these students would remain at CentroWEG for two to three years, combining daytime shop-floor exposure with regular night school. Today, there are 264 student taking professional training.
While at CentroWEG, these students are paid and registered as regular WEG employees, enjoying all the benefits offered by the company, including Profit Sharing. Courses are granted totally free and the students still receive all the necessary school material for theoretical classes and practices.
The WEG Training Center counts on comfortable facilities of about 2,550 square meters (27,000 square feet), 21 labs, five classrooms, and 13 full-time teachers dedicated exclusively to youth-training programs. "Quality level of the training offered and the possibility of remaining in the company after the conclusion in different areas where technical skills are required, are the main reasons for these students to be at CentroWEG”, says Hilton Faria, WEG´s HR and Corporate Affairs Director.
The application process for CentroWEG takes place every year and the waiting list is usually quite long. For example, in 2017 there were 1620 applicants for 144 spots. There are pre-qualifying requirements related to age and education grades. First, the young applicants are given a lecture about the specific content of each course and then take logical and numerical reasoning tests. The best ranked applicants in this first test participate in a week of pre-training, where they take theoretical tests and specific practices of each course. These applicants still go through an interview with a psychologist and have full medical check-up. Those who are finally approved will start the training in the following year.
In 2017, the WEG Training Center (almost 50 years old) was featured in the British newspaper, The Economist, as a world-class example in technical education for the market place in a report that addressed initiatives that contribute to increasing employment opportunities through training of young individuals.