Forty-seven trainees, four years on the job, one team

The motto continues to apply to this year’s traditional team-building session, which marks the start of the new training year. Continue reading

Sixteen new trainees will be joining the ranks of Kuhn Special Steel this year. They will be training to be professional metal machinists, machine/plant operators, foundrymen/women, industrial mechanics or electronics technicians for operating equipment; or learning about the commercial side of things in such areas as industrial administration or specialist IT applied to system integration.
As part of an effort to allow the members of such a large group of trainees in so many different areas to get to know each other and develop a spirit of camaraderie, it has become something of a tradition at Kuhn Special Steel to start the new training year with team-building activities.

Lea Birkner and Max Völker report on this year’s event:

This year’s trainees all travelled together to the German city of Cologne. Once there, they were confronted with their first test in teamwork ability: this year’s task entailed building soapbox cars. They had to be as tough and stable as possible, as they were going to be used in a race.


An all-women team was put together to help do away with clichés about having women in the group and they even beat the men at their supposedly own game, in the “Design” category, at least 😉!
After some two hours of hard work and a few cries of despair, but also a lot of fun, the back yard of our youth hostel was graced with six completely different but more or less roadworthy soapbox carts.
This was quickly followed by a “Ready, steady…. Go!” And they were off to contest Cologne’s most well-known soapbox race, complete with its infamous Death Curve. Everyone managed to get around the course without any major incident, fortunately.

Once all the soapbox carts had crossed the finishing line safe and sound, they were transported back to Radevormwald to be donated to local nursery schools, where they will hopefully continue to be great fun for a different bunch of (slightly smaller) kids.
The evening was then free for us to enjoy in our different ways. While some got over the exciting day by relaxing in the youth hostel, others went in a group to an ice-cream salon in the city centre.

The new trainees were able to get used to an early start the following morning, as the rooms all had to be vacated by 8:30 a.m. We met up at Cologne Cathedral to divide ourselves into the same groups as the day before, and started our “city rally”. Things were relatively quiet in comparison to the day before, and we enjoyed a highly informative guided tour of Cologne city centre.

Once all the groups had finished, we enjoyed a typical Kölsch beer in the Brauhaus Sion before returning to the training centre in Radevormwald, where we were all able to look back over the previous two days and conclude that we, the new trainees, have now been successfully inducted into the team.

Photos: Kuhn Edelstahl

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