Investing in knowledge

Unique alliance between around eighty metal companies in the Oss-Uden-Veghel region

Egbèr Smits

Technology never stands still. It is therefore absolutely vital to continue investing in knowledge in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in this constantly changing world. At the SLB GROUP, we encourage our people never to stop learning. We see it as added value for the organization and for the employees themselves.

The SLB GROUP, the parent organization of RVS NON FERRO, has been working with the Stichting Metaal Opleiding (SMO) for many years. This alliance of some eighty metal companies in the Oss-Uden-Veghel region was set up to encourage and inspire young talent to work in the metal industry, for example by offering them practical experience.

Education and practical experience

Many students at vocational education institute ROC de Leijgraaf learned the tricks of the technical trade at the SLB GROUP through SMO. In fact, three students are currently gaining work experience in this way, including Björn van der Heijden. He is studying for Mechatronics Engineer BBL level 3 at ROC de Leijgraaf, and is working on a practical assignment at SLB production to learn more on how to inspect a machine. He's doing this together with his on-the-job mentor, Henk Kniest. “It's really cool that I get to study and gain practical experience at the same time. And of course, the salary is a nice bonus. An internship of ten weeks would be too short to learn everything about the practical side of mechatronics. This combination of learning and working is ideal,” he says with a smile.

A good balance

There are plenty of opportunities at the SLB GROUP, not only at vocational education level, but also for higher education (HBO) students. Tim Henger is currently working in the assembly department at SLB production while he studies mechanical engineering two nights a week. "I don't like sitting around and prefer being busy all day. The combination of work and school offers a really good balance. I studied full time for a while, but missed the challenge and the combination of learning and working.” Tim certainly sees himself working as an engineer at the SLB GROUP some day. “Applying my own knowledge and experience to craftsmanship, that seems like an exciting challenge." He hopes to graduate in 2020. Besides applying his study in practice, he also wants to use his acquired knowledge in his own home, sort of like a hobby. He has plans to make improvements to the climate control without wasting energy or to live more sustainability through good insulation.


The combination of working and learning: the SLB GROUP highly recommends it to anyone who asks. “It's the perfect way to invest in your future,” says SLB GROUP’s director, Egbèr Smits. In January, he went to an inspirational evening of the Meierijstad Rotary Club on studying at university next to your day job. Professors from four leading universities spoke about innovation, the digital transition and the food industry and agribusiness of the future. The latter theme was particularly interesting for SLB GROUP. Egbèr : “We are always looking for opportunities for our employees to combine their work with an education. I go to many seminars on various topics and would also jump at the chance to attend lectures again.”

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Egbèr Smits

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