40 years of starlim//sterner apprenticeship training

The apprenticeship is a company building block at starlim//sterner

starlim//sterner, the tool making and silicon injection molding firm from Marchtrenk celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. The company has been training apprentices for almost just as long too. The first apprentice was taken on as a tool maker in 1976.

“Our apprentices are our specialist workers of the future and ensure that the starlim/sterner company survives,” says the Head of Training Reinhard Koch. Even four decades ago it was understood that well trained staff are essential for a successful company focused on export. Some of the apprentices trained back then still work in Marchtrenk.

Witnessing change

Naturally quite a lot has changed since 1976. Gerhard Brandmair, once a tool maker apprentice and today an erosion technician, recalls that there were not any qualified trainers in 1984 but that qualified workers carried out the apprenticeship training. And they were often very strict. Good grades at vocational college were a prerequisite and there were not any revision sessions or anything like that for the final examination. “You just had to sit down and cram on your own. And if you wanted to know something you had to ask.” Back then you learnt how to do sums in your head by fetching the daily break-time snacks for all the colleagues, which meant cycling to Marchtrenk and picking up beer to go with the sausage sandwiches too.

Almost inconceivable today. Not only are the apprentices supervised and trained by seven full-time trainers now, but they’re also intensively prepared for their final examination. Fetching the break-time snacks is also no longer part of their duties and the tone is not quite as rough any more, although discipline and respect are still given high priority.


“I would send my child here straight away. In my opinion the apprenticeship training at starlim//sterner is very good and is not offered in this quality by other companies,” says Christian rein, ex-apprentice and returned employee. One argument for this is, among others, the apprenticeship with Matura, where starlim//sterner has been a pioneer in the region since 2011. A major focus is also on promoting social skills, which have an impact on the team, the young people’s personal development and last but not least enjoying the job.

100% permanently taken on

starlim/sterner currently employs 680 staff in Marchtrenk and Weißkirchen. 48 of these are still in training. Roughly 200 apprentices have been trained since the firm started, 72 of these in the last five years alone. Roughly a quarter of all the qualified apprentices are still employed at the company. starlim/sterner has been excelling with a permanent position rate of 100% since 2007 and anyone who wants to stay at the company after their apprenticeship therefore has the best chances of being able to.

At starlim//sterner there is the metal technician (main module tool making)/plastic mold making dual apprenticeship, the metal technician (main module mechanical engineering) apprenticeship, the mechatronics technician (main module production technology) apprenticeship and the design engineer (focus tool making) apprenticeship.


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