20 years of RCG apprenticeships – Karin Scheiblehner: from apprentice to Chair of the Works Council

02. 11. 2020

In the course of our anniversary, we are putting our colleagues in the spotlight who have made the RCG apprenticeships what they are today – a successful joint project. Current and former apprentices and trainers are taking it in turns to give us an insight into their day. They tell us what motivated them to do an apprenticeship at the RCG and take look ahead to the next 20 years.

Karin Scheiblehner was one of the first apprentices who completed the RCG apprenticeship to become a freight forwarding specialist back in 2001.

Today, she represents our staff as Chair of the Works Council. After nearly 20 years, she knows the company like the back of her hand and has fond memories of her time as an apprentice.

What type of apprenticeship did you do at the RCG? 

In 2001, I was one of the first apprentices on the course to become a freight forwarding specialist in Upper Austria. Looking back, it’s so nice to know I have been part of the company right from when I started out.

What is it that makes the RCG apprenticeships so special?

It’s definitely the diversity, that’s what makes our rail company so exciting! During the apprenticeship, I got to know a lot of different departments and locations. On top of that, I had so many interesting colleagues. It was an incredibly exciting and enriching time.

What was it that made you want to do an apprenticeship at the RCG?

It was a stroke of good luck in my case. I didn’t pass my high school French exam and was searching for an alternative. I found out from my father that an RCA apprentice had dropped out at short notice and I was able to fill his place. My life completely changed direction and I’m now happy that I wasn’t so good at French back then.

Can you tell us what shape your career path has taken so far at the RCG?

After I completed my apprenticeship, I spent four years working in Operational Development – now called Service Delivery – as part of the relief staff in central Upper Austria. After that, I switched to back office work in WBPC Sales. That was also an exciting time for me; I learned a lot about the company. I was always there to support my colleagues as part of the Works Council; that began during my apprenticeship when I became a member of the Young Works Council. After some reorganisation, I then became Deputy Chair of the Works Council for the region East-Central in Upper Austria. Unfortunately, my Chair became seriously ill in 2015 and I took over many of his duties practically overnight. I then became his successor in 2016. That was ultimately the deciding factor for moving into workforce representation and my relocation to Vienna. Today, I am the Deputy Chair of the RCA Central Works Council and a member of the supervisory board. This is a major undertaking, because I’m also the first woman to sit on an ÖBB supervisory board. 

What piece of advice would you give to apprentices who are just starting out at the RCG?

If you’re motivated, you work hard and you give it your all, you can achieve a lot during your apprenticeship. It’s important to be open and seize opportunities, because you’ll find fulfilment on so many levels and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

What do you think the RCG apprenticeships will look like 20 years from now?

I hope they will continue to develop as successfully as they have done over the past 20 years. We are living in difficult times right now and we also have to deal with topics like digitalisation during the apprenticeships. There needs to be a good mix of digital components combined with on-site and operational experience. It’s important to get the right balance between theory and practice so that we don’t lose the personal touch.

Describe the RCG apprenticeships in one sentence!

As an RCG apprentice, the railway world is your oyster. It’s waiting for you to discover all it has to offer. This is your opportunity to really get involved and help make it even better.