W&H secures second Austrian national championship title in a row

The beaming national champion Marco Kern
The beaming national champion Marco Kern*

W&H attracted attention once again at this year’s Austrian national vocational championships with another impressive performance. With confidence and outstanding professional finesse, Marco Kern and Florian Spitzwieser successfully mastered all of the tasks set by the board of judges in the “CNC lathe turning” category and between them managed to take home both 1st and 5th place. As the new national champion, Marco Kern has not only secured his place at the 2017 “World Skills” world vocational championships in Abu Dhabi, but is also following hot on the heels of Alexander Wagner, who won the national championships title for W&H last time around in 2014.

“This extremely thrilling series of events is further confirmation of our family company’s value preservation concept aimed at offering young people first-rate training for the long-term and at the highest level. It is also proof of the readiness and expertise of the younger generation. We are incredibly proud of Marco Kern,” said W&H Managing Director Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata happily when the title was successfully defended.

A test of strength at the highest level

The Austrian national vocational championships at the “BIM” career information exhibition at the Salzburg Exhibition and Congress Centre were characterized by high levels of concentration and excitement. Between 17th and 20th November 2016 Austria’s top skilled workers from a total of 26 occupations allowed their skills to be judged at “Austrian Skills”. The CNC machine operators Marco Kern (W&H skilled worker) and Florian Spitzwieser (a 4th-year apprentice) competed to defend the title for W&H in the “CNC lathe turning” category. Whilst Marco Kern had achieved 3rd place with an excellent performance in 2014 and thus already garnered valuable experience competing in the scope of the Austrian national championships, this year’s event was Florian Spitzwieser’s first time in the spotlight. The two W&H employees stepped up to the plate alongside competitors from all over Austria.

W&H employee Marco Kern demonstrated ultimate concentration in the competition.
W&H employee Marco Kern demonstrated ultimate concentration in the competition.

With outstanding professional expertise and a wealth of ambition, both Marco Kern and Florian Spitzwieser mastered even the most difficult of tasks during the competition. Following precise reading of specific manufacturing drawings, the CNC lathe had to be equipped with the corresponding tools, programmed and operated. The tasks involved producing corresponding components with all the size and surface specifications as precisely and rapidly as possible within just four hours. For the first time, the participants in this year’s national championships were also faced with the challenge of mass-producing parts, which demands additional concentration and stamina.

1st place for Marco Kern

After three strenuous days of competitions, the result of this year’s Austrian national vocational championships were finally in: the excellent performance delivered by Marco Kern was awarded first place by the high-calibre jury comprising members from business and industry and was rewarded with the much-coveted title of national champion. Florian Spitzwieser was rewarded for his outstanding performance with 5th place.*

W&H is delighted by the thrilling series of successes

“We place high requirements on our next generation of skilled workers. Communication of state-of-the-art technological expertise and networked thinking in the mechanical and programmed production of precision components is always in focus right from the beginning of the training,” explained Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata. “Our continuous successes demonstrate that our young members of staff represent some of the best young talents in the whole of Austria and our training corresponds to the highest international standards.”

*photos: WKS/Franz Neumayr

Training to the highest international standards

The optimal support they receive from W&H ensured that Marco Kern and Florian Spitzwieser were best prepared for the competition.

From left to right in the photo*: Stefan Rausch (W&H instructor), Matthias Hufnagl (W&H instructor), Marco Kern (W&H skilled worker and reigning Austrian national champion) and Dipl.-Ing. Peter Malata (W&H Managing Director). Not in the photo: Florian Spitzwieser (attending vocational school).