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Nationwide Initiatives

The demand for engineers and skilled workers has risen constantly in recent years. Promoting young talent and lifelong learning is therefore a top priority for ProduktionNRW. In North Rhine-Westphalia, numerous players are promoting education and training in STEM subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology) in city, regional and statewide initiatives from kindergarten to university and in continuing education projects.

Erlebnis Maschinenbau

“Experience Mechanical Engineering: Technology that Fascinates” is a statewide offer that specifically promotes interaction between schools and mechanical engineering companies. The joint campaign is promoted by the VDMA NRW together with METALL NRW, the IHKs NRW, OWL Maschinenbau (BINGO) and IG Metall NRW. The subject area is listed under “MINT education” at SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT NRW.

As part of this state-wide campaign, every year on a selected date (three consecutive days) numerous companies put together programs for the students with a great deal of dedication and imagination in order to provide vivid information about technical professions, career content and future prospects. Using practical examples, the young people explore, for example, the activities of industrial mechanics, mechatronics engineers or cutting machine operators. These action days are thus the perfect opportunity for schoolchildren to get to know jobs on site, interview trainers, trainees and employees, and make initial contacts for an internship or apprenticeship.”

Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day

Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day are held annually in the spring. Young people explore occupations that are not typical for their gender. Girls complete one-day internships in technical, scientific, manual or IT professions and get to know executive floors and successful women in management positions. Boys spend a day working in professions in the social, nursing or educational sectors, training their social skills or working in workshops on various topics related to ideas of masculinity.

Telephone hotlines answer questions about Girls’Day and Boys’Day and help find action places.

​​​​​​​The Internet offers the most convenient way to search for an action place: Over 80,000 places are already listed on the action maps at and New offers for exploring gender-atypical occupations are added daily. Anyone who still can’t find what they’re looking for, has questions about the offers or is otherwise looking for help in participating in Girls’ Day or Boys’ Day can get direct support by e-mail or via the specially set-up hotline.

Zukunft durch Innovation.NRW

Zukunft durch Innovation.NRW (zdi for short) is a joint initiative to promote young scientific and technical talent in North Rhine-Westphalia. With over 4,500 partners from business, science, schools, politics and social groups, it is the largest of its kind in Europe. Throughout the state, there are now 47 zdi networks and more than 70 zdi student labs that offer hands-on opportunities for children and young people in the fields of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology, or MINT for short.

Scholarships for talent

Scholarships are the most effective instrument for improving the financial situation during studies and, at the same time, promoting personal development and the prospects for a successful start to a career through idealistic support. In some cases, scholarships can even help to almost even out otherwise serious differences in success between students from different social backgrounds.

​​​​​​​The federal government funds a total of 13 sponsorship organizations that award scholarships to students. Above-average performance (in the individual context of life) is just as important in the application process as social or community involvement. With the Deutschlandstipendium, the German government has expanded student funding through a program that is also initiating a new scholarship culture in Germany. The federal government and private sponsors – companies, associations, foundations and individuals – work together to support high-achieving students. In North Rhine-Westphalia, more than 50 universities award the Deutschlandstipendien scholarships to talented students.