Not a typical female profession

It’s early in the morning, the cool autumn air is whistling through the air. Annika fischer-weib, trainee painter and varnisher, is at her current construction site: a kronach pharmacy. Erecting scaffolding, masking and painting – these tasks are part of her job and at the same time one of her passions.

The 17-year-old made a conscious decision to pursue this training after graduating from secondary school. She remembers: "i already knew my boss markus beforehand, because we play in the same music club. My internship with him made me realize that this is exactly the right thing for me to do." she has been an apprentice at markus schnappauf’s painting business in wilhelmstal for just over a year now.

Women in the trades

According to the bamberg/coburg employment agency, although the number of apprentices in the skilled trades continues to fall, apprentices are becoming increasingly popular. Meanwhile, 17.4 percent of employees in the skilled trades are women.

When fischer-weib mentions what she does for a living, others often have preconceived ideas. "You are often asked whether you have the strength to do the work as a woman and how you can cope with the men all day long", she laughs.

Despite all the doubts of auben, however, fischer-weib can refute the cliches. She obviously feels comfortable and appreciates the good working atmosphere and the collegial relationship. Her boss is also happy with her: "there are no problems at all, we made a conscious decision in favor of her." if the number of employees on the construction site allows it, it goes without saying that the 17-year-old does not have to carry the heavy work materials all the time.

Nevertheless, schnappauf emphasizes that he treats all of his employees equally, because after all, as a trainee, you know in advance what kind of job you’re getting into. And fischer-weib is naturally able to keep up with her colleagues, since she acquires a great deal of theoretical knowledge at the coburg vocational school or at in-house training courses. She explains: "at school, we learn a lot about the materials that we process. In addition, the practical part never comes too short." she often has to be creative, for example, to put abstract ideas into practice.

Because fischer-weib puts her heart and soul into her work every day, she will soon have the opportunity to become apprentice of the year 2019. How it came about? "I applied via the internet at myhammer, where people can vote for me", she explains. Myhammer is a tradesmen’s portal that helps consumers find a company for their order and vice versa. The winner also received a shatterproof smartphone for the construction site.

Clear career choice in the district

In the district of kronach, there are clear preferences regarding the most popular occupations among young people. "Even today, role models still prevail: the man as the breadwinner of the family and the woman who rather puts her vocation in the foreground", says matthias klar, press spokesman for the employment agency. According to this, young men tend to choose technical professions such as automotive mechatronics technician, salesman or industrial mechanic. Women chose to become industrial clerks, saleswomen or medical assistants. As a woman, it would also be much easier to change to a part-time model in an office job, for example, if you want to have children.

So is a classic craft profession obsolete nowadays?? Klar clarifies: "you have to keep in mind that the craft and the industry compete with each other. In the industry one does not work in the free and has for example regulated working hours. On a construction site, you can’t just go home when something needs to be finished." but especially in rural regions the craft is passed on by tradition. This would also make it more likely that a young person in the countryside would be more likely to take up a trade, for example, because his parents already work in that industry.

However, this sector has also undergone a change over the years, as weib clearly points out: "many people forget that you can also move up in the trades, for example, if you make your master’s title." schnappauf shares this opinion and is looking forward to the future with his team, in which everyone is passionate about the same thing.