On July 24, 2019, Dr. Susanne Eisenmann, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of the State of Baden-Württemberg since 2016, visited Herrenknecht AG in Schwanau. During a tour of the plant, the state minister gained an insight into the family business and highlights from the world of mechanized tunneling. She exchanged views with company founder and Chairman of the Board of Management Dr.- Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht as well as members of the Board of Management and senior executives on the future viability of Germany as a business location. The discussions also focused on the issues of ensuring enough skilled workers as well as training.
“Education is one of our most important raw materials. For Germany to stay ahead, we need an education offensive to increase our innovative strength and our clout in global competition,” Martin Herrenknecht emphasized. Application-oriented research and cooperative vocational training are important cornerstones of this, he said. The Minister of Education was visibly impressed with the Herrenknecht training workshop and its modern machinery: “I am delighted that Herrenknecht is pursuing the long-term development of young talent. This lays the foundation for cutting-edge technology from Germany. Training skilled workers in the German cooperative system is an advantage in international competition.”
Herrenknecht trains up to 180 young people in 12 occupations and degree internship programs, making it one of the largest trainers in the Ortenau region. Outside the business itself, the company also supports young talents for school and student education projects. These include scholarships at various colleges and universities as well as the promotion of science and technical subjects and the Engineer’s Day at the Max Planck High School in Lahr.
During the plant tour, Martin Herrenknecht also briefed Minister Eisenmann on Herrenknecht’s current international project business. In addition to reference projects for supply and waste disposal lines of all kinds, this includes challenging tunnel projects in Europe, such as the French capital’s “Grand Paris Express” metro extension, in the course of which more than 200 kilometers of new metro lines are being built using tunnel boring machines. The Brenner Base Tunnel currently under construction with Herrenknecht technology will be the world’s longest underground rail link. A technical gap is closed by the innovation E-Power Pipe: with the trenchless method, small-diameter cable protection pipes can be installed underground quickly and securely with ten times longer drive lengths.