At uvex, we are all striving towards our common goal of protecting people, whether in their free time or at work. Real people are behind every pair of safety spectacles, every pair of safety footwear and every pair of earplugs. These are people who have worked with commitment and passion day in, day out, to make uvex what it is today – and that has been the case for more than 90 years now.

The key to our success is firmly in the hands of our employees – and we intend to put them in the limelight in a series of blogs: “Business is people”

uvex apprentices have three varied years ahead: They will experience a wide range of departments, spend a period of time with our colleagues at uvex sports and occasionally even test the water at other companies. As part of a week-long exchange programme, our future industrial businesswomen Julia Scheuerpflug and Sandra Wagner experienced working life at sports manufacturer PUMA, a company based in Middle Franconia, Germany. In turn, two PUMA trainees experienced life at uvex.

Over the course of a week, Eva Oechsner and Steffen Brodmerkel visited our production and moulding facilities, learning about the role of a process mechanic for plastic and rubber technology, and getting to know the uvex academy, our training and seminar facility. The third-year apprentices were able to observe many similarities in the process. Eva Oechsner: “The main parallel to be drawn between uvex and PUMA is their presence on international markets”. Steffen Brodmerkel adds: “The process from conception to the final product is also very similar”. However, that is not all. The two businesses are firmly rooted in the region of Middle Franconia in southern Germany, and have both grown from small, family-run businesses to successful international brands. Julia Scheuerpflug focuses on the two companies’ strong sporting pedigree: “I feel that PUMA and uvex products complement each other perfectly – there are cycling shorts to go with every cycling helmet, and a pair of ski goggles for every ski jacket.”

Industrial health and safety was also on the programme for the visitors from Herzogenaurach: They were able to see up close and personal exactly how a couple of small balls of plastic can be used to manufacture a pair of safety spectacles. Steffen Brodmerkel: “It was interesting to see how injection moulding works in real life, as we also use this process in the production of our footwear”. Steffen and Eva also learned about manufacturing preparation and related processes – a lot to fit in to just one week!

Ultimately, it was not just the newly acquired knowledge which made the exchange so special for the four budding specialists, but also the impressions gathered, working with new colleagues at their host company and the fresh business environment offered by the exchange. When asked what impressions she will take away from the exchange for her future career, Julia Scheuerpflug’s answer is rather pragmatic: “At PUMA, the entire intranet is in English. This means that you are obliged to use the language. My time at PUMA therefore showed me that I need to improve my English for my career!”

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