On 26–27 August 2021, the heads of the most important training centres of the Chambers of Skilled Crafts in the federal states, i.e. either the heads of the Chambers of Skilled Crafts or the directors of the academies that train “designers in the skilled crafts”, met in Rohr-Kloster/Thuringia. At the meeting, the Council of Master Craftsmen had the opportunity to present the cooperation network in a one-hour lecture.
Members of the ARGE “Designers in Crafts” are Barbara Schmidt (HWK Munich), Petronella Prottung (HWK Aachen), Beate Amrehm (HWK Aachen), Manfred Heilemann (HWK Münster), Lutz Schell-Peters and Thorsten Lindenmann from the Werkakademie Rohr-Kloster, Ina Luckhardt (HWK Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Stade), Hans Christoph Bittner (Fachverband Tischlerhandwerk NRW), Karin Bille (HWK Rheinland — Pfalz) and Anne Holderied (Künstlerhaus 188 Halle).
The meeting took place first in Rohr-Kloster, then in Erfurt. In Rohr-Kloster we were warmly welcomed by Tortsen Lindemann, who gave us a tour of the workshops of the vocational training centre. The Rohr-Kloster Vocational Training and Technology Centre (BTZ), as an organisational component and educational service provider of the Southern Thuringia Chamber of Skilled Crafts, is today, as we were able to see, one of the most modern and innovative vocational training centres for the skilled crafts in Germany. In two construction phases up to 2006, seven workshop buildings, classrooms, a boarding school and other halls and outbuildings were built. With subsidies from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Free State of Thuringia amounting to about 120 million DM, 494 training places were created in 30 workshops, rooms for 300 theory places, a boarding school with 75 beds and a canteen for the catering of course participants and guests over a period of 16 years. The BTZ’s educational achievements are impressive. Inter-company training is provided in 30 trades, and master craftsman training is carried out in 20 trades. In the 30 years since the Vocational Training and Technology Centre Rohr-Kloster was founded, more than 30,000 apprentices have been trained to become competent craftsmen. Around 6,300 journeymen successfully passed their master craftsman examinations. A total of 74,000 skilled workers were further qualified in specific courses. Over the years, thousands of students from vocational orientation programmes as well as numerous retrainees and participants from rehabilitation measures and projects have been added to this number. In talks, the foundation stone was laid for further cooperation between the Master Craftsmen’s Council and the BTZ.
The following day, the visit to the artists’ workshops in Erfurt was exciting.
In the north of the state capital Erfurt, idyllically located in a park and by the river, the artists’ workshops have developed since the 1990s as a space for creative work. Artists, hobby artists and cultural workers meet here to work together on new ideas and objects. Various workshop rooms and kilns are available for rent.
The enamel workshop is the core of the workshops. The goldsmith workshop offers 10 specifically equipped workplaces. Large-scale work is possible in the open-plan studio. Several small rooms are available for clubs, groups and individual work in creative processes of all kinds.