This week, Daniel Schirmer and Raphael Käslin, both trainers at the Lift Camp, talk about their experiences and challenges with this unique Schindler in-housetraining.
Who takes part in the Lift Camp?
Daniel Schirmer (DS): Usually career changers who come from other professions and want to start at Schindler/AS as fitters or service technicians. And of course, everyone who is new in our company and wants to work in the field.
Raphael Käslin (RK): Our participants come from many different fields but mainly from the automotive or electrical engineering industry.
What’s the duration of the Lift Camp?
RK: Service technicians are here for six weeks and then work in the field together with a trained technician for two weeks before they come back to us for another month.
DS: Service technicians come to Ebikon for 30 days, for fitters it takes 7 days in Ebikon and 20 days in Flawil (small city in the eastern part of Switzerland).
How often does the Lift Camp take place?
DS: We start every month with a new class in Ebikon and Flawil, usually with 6-8 participants. All together we train about 100 people per year.
Are there examinations that the participants have to pass?
DS: Yes, and our rules are pretty strict. Two attempts are tolerated, a third miss could be a reason for dismissal. There are different modules along the way and at the end of the camp the participants have to pass the final exams in theory and practice.
“All together we train about 100 people in Service and 100 people in Montage per year.” – Daniel Schirmer
When was the Lift Camp founded?
DS: The one for the fitters has existed since 2008. The one for service technicians started in 2009 with a pilot class and officially in 2010. Before that, career changers simply accompanied veterans for 3-4 months until they were able to do their work alone.
Is there a legal requirement to do such Lift Camps?
RK: No, there are no such requirements, it's more about safeguarding yourself and making sure that our employees are trained as well as possible in order to do their jobs in the field.
How do you get to run a Lift Camp, what qualifications and knowledge are needed for this?
RK: My boss back in 2009 actually started the Lift Camp program and was looking for someone to become the trainers. I was interested and started the respective trainer education.
DS: It was my desire to expand my field of activity and to become a trainer. The requirements for that position were several years of experience as a fitter or service technician. Additionally, I had already passed the Schindler Talent Program "Aufwärtsbitte" (upwards please) that prepared me for potential leadership positions.
Which content represents the greatest challenge, being difficult to convey or dangerous etc.?
DS: I’d say this is electrical engineering since many newcomers do not come from an electrical profession and all participants have different levels of previous knowledge.
RK: Many participants are used to doing physical work and have to learn how to deal with a pile of documents and theoretical stuff.
Do the camps look the same everywhere in the world?
DS: Lift Camps like this only exist in Switzerland. There is one in Germany as well, but this is more of an advanced training and it is slightly different to what we do here. However, many other countries offer their own trainings and education for our people in the field. The way they do it may be different but the idea behind it remains the same: To make our people ready for their job in the field.
The Lift Camp is the basic training for Schindler specialists in fitting, repair and service. The intensive training is mandatory for all employees who take up a position "in the field". The Lift Camp prepares them for work in the shaft and machine room. The Lift Camp attaches great importance to safety and professional work for customers.