A young professional dream team from Switzerland

The pair were able to impress at the SwissSkills event: Raphael Christen (left) and Noah Rossel. (Image: zvg)

Noah Rossel and Raphael Christen understand each other brilliantly. This is not really surprising, considering the pair were selected as ideal teammates for each other based on a psychology test. The Swissmem association had chosen the two 19-year-olds to compete together this year at SwissSkills, the Swiss professional championships, which were held in Bern at the beginning of September. How exactly did Noah and Raphael end up being paired together? Raphael recalls:

"My senior trainee also took part in the professional championships previously, which is why I was familiar with the competition at an early stage".

Supporting the talents of tomorrow

Young professionals should be able to showcase their talents in an exciting and demanding competition and therefore prepare for the diverse professional world. This is the basic idea behind the annually alternating SwissSkills, EuroSkills and WorldSkills events. Brütsch/Rüegger Tools has always been committed to these competitions and supports the three polymechanic disciplines of automation, CNC turning and CNC milling. Through our involvement, we show our full support for the positive idea of using professional championships to promote excellence, professional experience and the image of apprenticeships.

Raphael is currently completing his fourth year of training as an automation technician at PB Swiss Tools. The idea of competing against other young professionals from across Switzerland was appealing to him, so he registered for the competition and then successfully passed the two preselection rounds — still on his own up to this point. At the same time, Noah Rossel — who has now completed his training as an automation technician at Fritz Studer AG — also applied for the competition. "The idea of the professional competition appealed to me too and I met Raphael during the second round of selection." At the time, however, the pair had no idea about their upcoming success as future team mates. The Swissmem association was responsible for this: Based on a psychology test, those responsible determined that the two young automation technicians would make an ideal team.

The young professionals working deep in concentration under the watchful eye of the SwissSkills experts. (Image: zvg)

Training equals success

This judgement quickly proved to be correct: The two junior professionals met, coordinated their training and worked on their joint strategy. This entailed dividing up individual tasks — Noah was responsible for the software side of things and therefore the programming, while Raphael took care of the hardware. Simply put, the automation technician teams at SwissSkills were required to set up a complex control system that works with a range of moving parts and cables, and they had to program the necessary PLC for this themselves. The pair trained together whenever possible. They were also able to rely on a sponsored tool from Brütsch/Rüegger Tools. "The tool was really helpful and the sponsorship was so straightforward", Noah recalls. Most tools could be kept by the competitors after the SwissSkills event.

Full concentration

Shortly before the actual competition, the participants were able to get a feel for the situation on site. What was it like to compete as one of six teams in your job category at SwissSkills? "The nerves really kicked in the day before, but once you start tackling the task at hand, you are so deep in concentration that you hardly think about it anymore". It was the same for Noah: "Although the situation was unfamiliar and there were lots of people looking over your shoulder, I was surprisingly able to block them out".

At the finishing line: Raphael and Noah (far left) posing on the winner's podium. (Image: zvg)

The competition lasted three days and involved various tasks, which meant several phases that required hours of concentration for the participants. "This was really intense and became tiring after a while", the two explained. But they had a positive feeling early on and were in good spirits. Over the course of the competition it became apparent that it would not be enough for first place, but Raphael and Noah are more than happy with the title of runner-up Swiss Champions. They would therefore highly recommend that future young professionals take part in SwissSkills — even though the event is a big time investment. "For me, the thrill of the competition and the exchange with other participants and experts is so valuable that it's all worth it", says Noah. And Raphael is confident that achieving the title of runner-up Swiss Champion will look great on his CV. "I will certainly be able to benefit from this".

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