Insights: Apprenticeship at Donauchem

Today's apprentices are our skilled workers of tomorrow and an important success factor for the Donau Chemie Group. We spoke with Dominik Gradischnig, who is completing his apprenticeship in Customer Service at Donauchem, and provide an overview of apprenticeship training at the Donau Chemie Group. 

Apprenticeship training at the Donau Chemie Group

The Donau Chemie Group relies on the potential of its own junior staff. The aim is not only to train apprentices as skilled workers in the best possible way, but also to keep them in the company in the long term after the final apprenticeship examination and to develop them further. Many of our former apprentices are now master craftsmen, train apprentices themselves or hold management positions.

Currently, the Donau Chemie Group employs 24 apprentices, who are distributed among the sites throughout Austria and trained in eight different apprenticeship professions:
  • Electrical Engineering/Mechatronics
  • Chemical process engineering
  • Laboratory technology
  • Office management
  • Mechanical engineering technology
  • IT operating technology
  • Industrial clerk
  • Metal technology

We offer the following to our apprentices:
  • Apprenticeship with Matura
  • Internal preparatory courses for the apprenticeship-leave exam
  • Bonuses for (very) good certificates/apprenticeship-leave exam/matura
  • Participation in apprentice competitions
  • Work-life balance
  • Exchange of experience 
  • Job-specific and personal development training
  • Company canteen
  • Employee discounts
  • Health promotion programs
  • company doctor 
Our apprentice trainers make sure that work life and school life can be easily combined during the apprenticeship period. This applies in particular to those apprentices who have opted for the apprenticeship with Matura. 

In the course of their apprenticeship, our apprentices are also given an insight into other areas of work at different sites/plants. During a 2-week exchange of experience, they can make contact with apprentices from other divisions and get an idea of their field of activity.   

The training and development programs are designed to explore the strengths of our apprentices and support them with annual seminars. The main topics of the 2-day modules include presentation techniques, appearing and communicating with confidence, dealing with social media or conflict resolution management. Due to the Corona pandemic, the last module was offered online. In the future, the modules will be held live again to allow apprentices to get to know each other. 


Interview with Dominik Gradischnig, Donauchem

Dominik Gradischnig has been working as an office administrator apprentice in the Customer Service department of Donauchem at the Brückl site since December 1, 2021. In a short interview, he told us why he decided to do an apprenticeship at Donauchem, how he likes his field of work, and what advice he has for young people who are about to choose a career.

Why did you apply for the apprenticeship at Donauchem?

Actually, I am a trained cook and also worked in this profession for seven years. Then, when I was laid off because of the Corona crisis and couldn't find a new job, I thought about where else I could work. It seemed better to learn something new than to sit at home and not know what to do next. My choice eventually fell on an office job in marketing or sales because I had already acquired knowledge in that area. That's how I became aware of the apprenticeship at Donauchem.

When you think back to the job interview, what was it like for you?

I had the interview with Christoph Gerold, the site manager at Donauchem Brückl, and my trainer Sabine Paletti. It was a very pleasant conversation, where the main thing was to get to know each other. My professional background was already known from the documents.  

What motivated you to apply?

In addition to Donauchem, I had interviews with two other companies at that time, which also went very well. I chose Donauchem because a good working atmosphere is very important to me. I felt comfortable at the interview and both interview partners were very likeable - I simply had the best feeling at Donauchem.

What is your daily work routine like, what are your tasks?

At the moment, my tasks mainly include administrative activities, for example preparing delivery bills and folders for our drivers or posting freight costs, deliveries and orders. The next step in my training will be activities where I have direct contact with customers.  

 What do you like most about your job?

If I compare my current job with my old job, it's mainly the working hours that I really like. I used to have very little free time and was very physically demanding. Today, I have a private life again, and if my concentration ever wanes on the job, I take a short break and then I get back to work. It's all more relaxed, less stressful.

What are your plans after completing your apprenticeship?

After the apprenticeship, I have great development opportunities in the company. All areas within Donauchem will then be open to me. For example, I can switch to production or complete a sales apprenticeship and move into sales. At the moment, I'm concentrating on my apprenticeship as an office administrator; I'll decide everything else once I've completed the apprenticeship.

In addition to the apprenticeship, you are also attending the Matura school, what is the reason for that?

My dream is to be able to work independently of location. I would like to get to know the world a little bit in addition to my job. The Donau Chemie Group has many locations abroad and my big goal is to work at a company location in the USA for some time. That's why I'm also working on my English skills and taking my Matura while working.

How do you reconcile that with vocational school?

I coordinate the time. When vocational school starts, the Matura school takes a break. And when vocational school is over, Matura school starts again.  

What would you advise a friend who is not sure whether to do an apprenticeship or go to school?

If he wants to do the Matura or study, I would advise him to do both. If it's a choice between apprenticeship or school, I would advise him to go for apprenticeship. Simply because, in my estimation, skilled workers are more in demand today than college graduates. Of course, it's nice to have a degree. But you also lose a few years during which others are already earning money. And with some studies it is very difficult to get a job in the field of study as well.

What does someone who wants to do an apprenticeship at Donauchem need to bring with them?

The will to learn. I came to Donauchem as a complete layman. At the beginning, everything was very complicated and difficult for me to understand. I then grabbed a pad, wrote down every single mouse click and printed everything out. If you take notes and are willing to learn, you can make progress. Even today, I sometimes look it up if I'm not sure of something.

What else is particularly important at Donauchem?

Accuracy. If a number is wrong in our Customer Service department, the delivery is not sent from Brückl, but from Pischelsdorf. Just one single number makes a big difference. Actually, it's not that complicated, you just have to work precisely and it'll be fine. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship at Donauchem to a friend?

Yes, definitely. I really appreciate my colleagues, the teamwork and the working atmosphere. Everyone is helpful and you always have a supportive hand at your side.  

Thank you very much for the interview! 

Open apprenticeship positions from September 2022

Donau Chemie Group is again accepting new apprentices for the following apprenticeships starting 01.09.2022. Interested parties can contact our Human Resources Department directly to schedule an application appointment. We are looking forward to apprentices who are committed to accompany us in our progress and who want to be part of an innovative and successful team! 

Donauchem GmbH


Write a comment Close comment
Security code*
 Security code