Weinheim, December 10, 2014. It is now almost ten year since the devasting earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Whole villages were simply swept away. In India alone, almost 20,000 people are reported to have died. The images remain unforgotten to this day and moved people throughout the world. This also included the employees and managers of the Freudenberg Group. The company has been active in India for more than 90 years. Immediately after the disaster, Freudenberg started to identify opportunities for providing aid and an appropriate location. Finally, the area around the city of Nagapattinam in Southern India, one of the hardest-hit regions, was selected. There, the Freudenberg Group is providing sustained support in the form of a Training Center. "In the meantime, we have given about 350 young people an opportunity to train in a technical vocation so that they can shape their own future and the future of their country," reports Dr. Jörg Matthias Großmann, Regional Representative of the Freudenberg Group for India.
Depending on the individual vocation, the young people's training takes between one and two years. They can train as welders, machinists, motor vehicle mechanics or fitters. The special feature is that the young people receive both theoretical and practical training in line with the German dual vocational education system. In the in-house library and computer room, they can also pursue the topics covered in greater depth outside the classroom. Following the completion of their course, the trainees have good prospects on the labor market. The Freudenberg Training Center is well-established and highly respected by companies in the region. 90 percent of the trainees find employment immediately after the completion of their course. So did Arunkar, who completed the two year fitter course. He is persuaded of the concept and recommends the training center to all his friends. „The training has changed my career and my life", he says. The young man can now support his family financially.
"At Nagapattinam, we provide the training that people need for sustained development in the region," says Großmann. Freudenberg helps to stabilize the local economy, adds trainer D. Stanley Babu. At first glance, there is nothing to remind you of the devastating consequences of the 2004 tsunami; nevertheless, the region needs long-term investment. "With high-quality training, we give young people prospects for a career so that they can earn a living in this developing area and at the same time improve the infrastructure of the region."
State financial support and recognition of the qualifications provided demonstrate the importance of the Training Center for India. In addition, the Center co-operates with national non-governmental organizations committed to education for underprivileged young people. The courses are intended for former child laborers and school dropouts as well as employees and adults who have not yet obtained recognized qualifications or who want to improve their training.
Not only in Nagapattinam but at all its locations throughout the world, Freudenberg assumes social responsibility – especially for environmental protection and educational prospects for children and young people. The Group's aid products range from small campaigns for kindergartens or charities in the neighborhood of plants to major training initiatives as in Nagapattinam.
About Freudenberg in India
Freudenberg has had business relations with companies in India for more than 90 years. The Group employs about 3,500 people at 32 locations in the country. In 2013, Freudenberg reported sales of €144 million in India. For further information, please go to www.freudenberg.in.