The names of our three Swiss Federal Certificate of Competence (EFZ) in Commercial apprentices in Switzerland are Anjesa, Mirela, and Sara. Today, the three will take you on a journey behind the scenes of our company.
How our apprentices came to VILLIGER?
Two of the three apprentices found their way to VILLIGER through the previous generation, their parents. The parents drew the teenagers’ attention to the company while they were looking for an apprenticeship. Sara’s mother worked in VILLIGER production until her daughter was born. When Sara was a child, her mom told her about the experience. Anjesa heard of VILLIGER for the first time while looking for an apprenticeship. “My mother told me how progressive and successful the company was.” The proximity to my home was another benefit. I was delighted when I was accepted to train as a Swiss Federal Certificate of Competence (EFZ) in Commercial apprentice.
Why do teenagers decide to do an apprenticeship at VILLIGER?
The younger generation is enthusiastic about the production process: “I am fascinated by the process and the dedication that goes into making cigarillos and cigars. The amount of time and culture that goes into a product,” says Anjesa, impressed. “I would love to experience the entire production process from the beginning.”
Mirela enjoys her apprenticeship tremendously as well: “The combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology in this industry intrigues me.”
Gen Z seems to particularly enjoy tradition, which is often forgotten in today’s fast-paced world.
Sara is enthusiastic about the uniqueness of the cigar company: “The production of cigarillos and cigars is something unique indeed. In Switzerland, only a few larger companies are engaged in tobacco production. That’s why I think it’s cool to work in one of them and get to know the craft.”
What are the responsibilities of VILLIGER apprentices?
Mirela, Anjesa, and Sara were introduced to VILLIGER pr at the start of their apprenticeships. Their induction provided insights into the production of cigarillos and cigars, including information about the tobacco’s origin. They were given a tour of the company early on. By now, they are familiar with our production facility and can provide visitors with solid information on plant tours. oducts
Sara proudly shares: “Right now, I am responsible for planning the yearly company tour we offer our family and friends. I enjoy that tremendously.” Mirela enthusiastically adds that she has already been tasked with organizing the Easter Apéro. “Tasks like this allow me to develop my organizational skills and gain practical experience in event management.”
The mentoring program makes it easier to start an apprenticeship at VILLIGER
VILLIGER places great importance on giving apprentices responsibility at an early stage. During the apprentice’s first and second year, mentors provide guidance and support to help the next generation learn and grow. Apprentices in their third year assume the mentor role.
Anjesa is in her third year now and, therefore, a mentor. She reports: “We get together once a month. We discuss work, school, inter-company courses, and other things. When I started my apprenticeship, I was very grateful that my mentor was always there to answer questions and support me. As part of the mentoring protocol, we also set specific targets for social, methodological, and personal skills. Setting goals is also a recurring task in later work life. We prepare ourselves in this way and create opportunities for improvement.”
The annual apprentice excursion at VILLIGER – a highlight
The current team, consisting of three apprentices in Switzerland and four at VILLIGER SÖHNE GmbH in Waldshut-Tiengen, meets yearly for an apprentice excursion. The exchange and socializing provide a welcome break from the daily routine. Whether it’s a trip to Europa-Park, bowling, or visiting a chocolate factory, the event is an annual highlight for the apprentices.
What makes VILLIGER particularly appealing to the young generation?
“The people at VILLIGER are great. I have had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring people whose work I admire. A sound apprenticeship, for me, means being in a positive environment,” says the beaming Anjesa.
In addition to inspiring people, appreciation is also essential to the learners. They also love that someone is there for them, checking up on them and interested in how they do in school. These values are critical to the vocational trainers at VILLIGER, and we are delighted that the apprentices appreciate this also.
We are proud to have these three friendly young talents on our team and look forward to continuing to support and promote their careers.