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Opening of German-French Specialised Training Course

A cooperation between AERO Campus Aquitaine in Bordeaux and Condor Technik GmbH

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the French government resolved, in January 2013, to enter into a closer cooperation in the area of education and training, with a particular focus on the topic of aviation.

Since Bordeaux is Hesse’s French partner region, and because the Frankfurt Airport located in Hesse is the main aviation hub in Germany, Hesse’s State Prime Minister, Volker Bouffier, entrusted the Gewerblich-technische Schulen (GTS) school centre, located in the city of Offenbach am Main, with a project aimed at establishing a bilingual German-French training programme. In April 2013, the GTS contacted Lufthansa Technik and Condor Technik GmbH.

During the initial meetings, the coperation partners discussed what each side expected from the project, and Condor Technik decided to join the voluntary project. “We were pleasantly surprised to have been contacted as a potential partner company within the scope of the cooperation. It shows that since it was founded five years ago, Condor Technik has successfully established itself as a training company as well and has earned an excellent reputation. We are very pleased that our apprentice aircraft mechanics can participate in this project,” said Michael Toparkus, Manager of Standards and Training at Condor Technik GmbH.

In 2013, the French partner school AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine was established and opened in Bordeaux. The establishment of the new school and the cooperation with aviation companies from Germany enable a linguistic, cultural and education-related dialogue and exchange of ideas and experiences. As part of this cooperation, students in France now also have the opportunity to participate in a dual education and training programme combining an apprenticeship at a company and education at a vocational school, a system which is currently used on a larger scale only in Germany.

And there is a new aspect for the German trainees: A stay abroad during the vocational training that includes a language learning element is currently only offered by a few vocational training programmes in Germany. “We want our trainees to get the best education and training that we can offer them,” says Michael Toparkus. “Due to the major support and funding from the ministries, all incurred expenses will be covered, which will open many doors for our apprentices.”

The education and training programme comprises two trainee exchange phases in which the French students complete a four-week training course at the companies participating in the project: Condor Technik GmbH, Lufthansa Technical Training, Heli Transair and Röder Präzision. Condor Technik GmbH will train three to four trainees. During their training programme, the German trainees will also spend two trainee exchange phases in Bordeaux, each lasting four weeks, however, there are still difficulties with regard to finding partner companies in France.

The first class of German trainees are currently taking an intensive course in French and will travel to Bordeaux in April/May 2015 for the first trainee exchange phase. The first cultural exchange already took place in Hesse from 4-20 March 2014. The cultural focuses during this exchange included a tandem language course and a visit to the Hessischer Landtag (Hesse State Parliament ) on 4 March with an official address by the State Secretary, who was representing the State Prime Minister. This was followed on 7 March by a visit from the Hesse Minister of Education on the north side of Frankfurt Airport, along with the official welcome and presentation of the cooperation partner companies Condor Technik GmbH and Lufthansa Technical Training.