Freudenberg Training Centre in Nagapattinam

10 years of building a better future, together

In helping a region recover from a devastating natural disaster, Freudenberg wanted to do more than just rebuild: The company wanted to make things better for the long-term. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Freudenberg’s Training Centre in Nagapattinam, which helped change lives after the devastation left in the wake of the 2004 tsunami and continues to offer a brighter future. 

At 9 AM local time on December 26, 2004, the Indian Plate was thrust beneath the Burma Plate off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The earth moved at a speed of 10,000 kilometers an hour for a minute and a half. The 9.1 earthquake was one of the longest and most violent ever recorded and resulted in a massive displacement of water. The ensuing tsunami claimed 250,000 lives around the entire Indian Ocean, from Thailand to Somalia. India’s Tamil Nadu was directly in the path of the wave and the coastal region of Nagapattinam was hit hardest.

The images of destruction etched themselves into the minds of people around the world and prompted a massive aid campaign. With more than 150 years of ties with the subcontinent, it was clear that Freudenberg would contribute to the relief efforts. Social responsibility has been deeply anchored in the Group’s Values and Principles since its foundation, and management knew that the sheer extent of the devastation would require long-term support. That is how the idea for the Freudenberg Training Centre (FTC) in Nagapattinam was born. 

Special invitees attending the FTC 10th year anniversary celebration from local, regional, national and global teams.

In it for the long-term

Offering more than just a quick fix, the concept behind the FTC is to help people help themselves by giving them the skills to build a better future. Each year, some 120 students graduate from the centre and go on to fill the urgent need for skilled workers in the region – thereby helping both themselves and the local economy. The FTC’s 14 trainers teach their students to become mechanics, welders, machinists, fitters and electricians. The young people receive both theoretical and practical training in line with the German dual vocational education system for a period of one or two years based on the course one opts for. Facilities include four classrooms, four workshops, planning rooms and a canteen, spread out across a 57,000 square-meter site. The training program has been a huge success and has obtained approval from the National Council for Vocational Training which has strict standards and is widely recognized throughout India.  

Commencement of Freudenberg Training Centre’s 10th Anniversary celebrations with the ceremonial lamp lighting.

A celebration with many highlights

The 10-year anniversary was officially celebrated on October 24 with traditional Indian ceremonies, project work and sporting events. The celebration was attended by local politicians, students, teachers and Freudenberg employees. Also present was Dr. Tilman Krauch, Chief Technology Officer and Freudenberg Group Board of Management member, who called the training centre “a beacon for the national ‘Make in India’ program, designed to support innovation, enhance skills development and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country.”

Georg Graf, Regional Representative for the Freudenberg Group in India added: "Skill development is an essential part of the drive to build on India's socio-economic infrastructure. Closing the critical gap between manpower availability and employability is important to create long-term job opportunities."

In addition, the FTC is increasingly taking on female trainees. Some 670 million women live in India. Only a quarter of them have a paid job. Equal opportunity is becoming ever more important. Around the world – Freudenberg stands for equal opportunity. As a values-based technology group, we work to create innovations that improve people's quality of life.

The video portrays Divya who is training to become an electrician.

A brighter future for all

Over the course of the past 10 years, the Freudenberg Training Centre has celebrated many successes, overcoming hurdles large and small. So far, more than 700 young people have been given a successful start to their professional lives. Most of them have been successfully placed in various well-known organizations in and around Chennai and many other cities. The automotive industry is happy to have trainees from Nagapattinam. Good prospects for the students currently being trained at the FTC – for their future and those of the entire region.

Freudenberg Training Centre’s students enthusiastically showcasing their innovative projects for a better and greener future.

Freudenberg Training Centre’s 10th year anniversary handbook released by (LtoR) Dr. Tilman Krauch, Member of the Board of Management & CTO, Freudenberg Group, Roopa Nagaraju, Corporate Communications, India & Mr. Georg Graf, Freudenberg Regional Representative, India.


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