Reparatur- und Service-Zentrum

Our training programme ReTech is going into the next round and the second generation of novice tinkerers is scurrying through the R.U.S.Z!

Throwaway production and consumption in recent decades have not only contributed to ecological crises, but have also marginalised the possibility and necessity of repair and diminished repair skills in society. The shortage of skilled workers that plagues the repair industry has thus long been due to a zeitgeist and not to the currently lamented labour shortages.

Since its foundation in 1998, the R.U.S.Z. has been helping unemployed mechatronics technicians with apprenticeship training and job training. We are not only a pioneer in the field of serious and independent repair, but also a centre of excellence that has directly or indirectly enabled many a repair shop to be founded and will continue to do so within the framework of our eco-social franchise model. With the transition to a circular economy, which is gaining momentum with corresponding EU regulations and most recently with the Austrian circular economy strategy, the repair infrastructure must continue to grow and training must be raised to a new level.

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R.U.S.Z Academy

In response to this, we have launched the R.U.S.Z Academy, our ReTech training programme is entering its second round this year, and with Oleg, one of our small electrical appliance specialists, another old repair stager is becoming a trainer of future key personnel in sustainability.

Thanks to an excellent pre-selection by the AMS, we were able to draw from the full range and selected six interested and motivated candidates at the beginning of January 2023, who will not only get a taste of workshop air in the coming 6 months, but also complete a challenging programme:

The technical part of the training ranges from the electrotechnical/mechatronic basics, safety regulations and standards to the professional use of measuring instruments, tools and operating instructions to the targeted handling and maintenance of the various product groups in theory and practice. In addition, there is training in customer and service orientation, including joint field service trips with the service technicians of the R.U.S.Z. As close to practice as possible, the course depicts various stations from the everyday life of a repair technician, embedded in solid basic knowledge in terms of sustainability and resource conservation. Training is given on large household appliances, small electrical appliances, coffee machines, hoovers, garden tools, sports equipment, lamps and electrical toys.

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The course ends with a competence-oriented training certificate and examinations on electrical engineering and safety standards as well as on appliance repair, both written and practical. A simulated service case on a household appliance acts as the examination piece, which must be mastered flawlessly.

Hotbeds for repair specialists

Two graduates of last year's pilot course are now working at the R.U.S.Z., one of them has already received the higher orders of mobile on-site technician. Both are providing excellent support to the R.U.S.Z. in coping with the increasing demand for repair services in "Europe's leading repair metropolis" (WDR).

However, a slide has already been set for the upcoming graduates, namely as key workers in the expansion of the repair infrastructure outside of Vienna: The work-integrative company Emmaus in St. Pölten is to start the new business field of repairing electrical appliances in the summer with freshly trained repair technicians and thus, like the BUZ Neutal in Burgenland, become a "breeding ground" for highly employable repair technicians. Of course, the R.U.S.Z Academy will continue to supervise and support these new initiatives.

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But until then, our motto at Lützowgasse in Penzing is: Repetitio est mater studiorum (repetition is the mother of study). The mood in the team is good, the R.U.S.Z. is happy about new faces and stories and that we are moving forward on the path of ecosocial transformation.