HZG as an Apprenticeship Institution

“Changing Lanes” - An apprenticeship with a difference

Spurwechsel Banner 2014

Young individuals acquire important experience on the Learning Island for their future careers.


The HZG headed in a new direction with its training initiative begun in 2008. We now send those trainees in their third and fourth years to the “Island”. The HZG has equipped a workshop as well as a business office within the Central Technical Department specifically for the five to eight trainees who make up the crew of the “Learning Island”.

The trainees from different fields work side by side in “Changing Lanes” – from the initial contract phase, to the planning and manufacturing phases. The young trainees acquire essential practical experience in the professional realm, learn interdisciplinary cooperation, acquire social expertise, such as a sense of responsibility, and learn key skills that include problem solving, creativity and process reliability.

This applies to constructive collaborations within a team as well as to completing all contracts to the satisfaction of the customers. Planning and budgeting are also crucial in successful project completion. Similar to managing one’s own business, the trainees are isolated to a large extent so that they can acquire important experience, which they can apply later in their professional lives.

Personal responsibility and the ability to work independently are all part of the concept. Instructors, however, remain on the side-lines to offer advice and practical assistance. Trainees participate on the “Learning Island” for four to six months.

Professional Development: An Overview

  • Electronics Technician
  • Industrial Management Assistant
  • Industrial Mechanic
  • Draftsperson


Ausbildungsprojekt "Spurwechsel"
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Gebäude 23b
Max-Planck-Str. 1
21502 Geesthacht

Phone: +49 (0)4152/87-2707

E-mail contact