Uzwil, 10/15/2014 – As first Swiss company, the Bühler Group was awarded the Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award on Monday evening in Bonn, Germany. It is under the patronage of the European Parliament and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. CEO Calvin Grieder was on hand to accept the renowned award in the name of the company. Bühler received the award in the category of “Company Transformation” for its training concept “ClassUnlimited”. “As a global high-tech company, we need highly qualified employees whom we can prepare for international assignments. To do this, we employ state-of-the-art video technology as early as in apprenticeship training,” said Bühler CEO Grieder.Bühler has been a pioneer in training and further development for almost 100 years. Currently, there are about 600 apprentices worldwide participating in training in twelve different vocational areas, and over 300 in Switzerland; more than two thirds of them will be adopted into a regular employment relationship at the end. Bühler has always placed great value on future-oriented training – and this has now been officially acknowledged through the Leonardo educational award: “We can only set ourselves apart from the competition if we have the best employees,” CEO Grieder said.
ClassUnlimited: Cross-border vocational training
The award-winning ClassUnlimited project was undertaken by Bühler in collaboration with the vocational and further-training center Wil-Uzwil. Thanks to a virtual classroom, students can participate in a four-month stay abroad during the last year of their apprenticeship without having to miss classes at their local vocational school. The classes at the vocational school classroom are transmitted to two large screens located at other ends of the world, for example, a Bühler location in the USA or in China, via video. “Bühler does business in more than 140 countries,” noted Christof Oswald, Head of Corporate Human Resources at Bühler. “In order to achieve business succcess, it is vital that we teach our young employees about other cultures and ensure they are optimally prepared for an international work environment.”
The Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award honors courageous and determined visionaries who initiate and implement future-oriented projects for education in Europe. The prize has been awarded since 2012 by an international jury in the categories of Thought Leadership, Company Transformation and Crossing Borders. The justification behind the prize award stated that it was impressive to see how Bühler linked the traditional values of two-pronged education with advanced technologies to create a classroom without geographical borders. Peter Palme, Leonardo Ambassador in Switzerland commented: “By awarding the groundbreaking approach of Calvin Grieder and the Bühler company with the Leonardo Award, we want to motivate other companies and institutions in Europe to take new and sustainable approaches in apprenticeships – and in so doing to contribute to such an important internationalization in this educational field.”
More information about the Leonardo Award:
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for making foods and advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of over 10,000. In fiscal 2013, the company generated sales revenue of CHF 2,322 million