Innovative apprentice acquisition: Paul Köster Escape Room

08. Jul 2021

A unique idea aims to get young people interested in its wide range of apprenticeship opportunities and special mechanical engineering

Medebach, Germany. These days, it seems everyone is familiar with escape rooms: those very creatively designed rooms where puzzles have to be solved in order to reach a certain goal. They require the power of deduction, and having an eye for detail and strong team spirit are crucial! Found in many cities, escape rooms have been a huge trend for several years and are in high demand. Now there are also virtual escape rooms available to take a break from everyday life! So where does Paul Köster GmbH fit into all this? Well, in the coronavirus era — with its lack of job recruitment fairs and the increasing shortage of skilled workers and junior staff — creative ideas are needed to reach young people. Ideas that will inspire them to look into the diverse apprenticeship options here and to take an interest in everything to do with special mechanical engineering at Paul Köster GmbH, as well as to motivate them to get more informed — and in the best case, apply directly. This is precisely why Ann-Kathrin Huneck, who is responsible for marketing at the Medebach-based company, has come up with a truly unusual — and probably even one-of-a-kind — idea to reach school students and prospective career and post-secondary entrants in a completely unconventional way: The “Paul Köster Escape Game”!

“The idea came about as part of the yearly planning for 2021: Because the pandemic situation hadn’t improved at the beginning of the year, it was impossible to make concrete plans for possible events and recruitment fairs. These play a major role in attracting young talent, so we had to find an alternative way of giving these young people an insight into our field of activity without boring them with standard marketing content. The solution came in the form of gamification: the transfer of aspects that are typical in games into non-game contexts with the aim of increasing user motivation. Simply put: It should be fun to deal with the subject of special mechanical engineering. But what counts as fun for the young ones these days?! We hope we can entertain them with what is probably the first German corporate escape game while drawing their attention to our apprenticeship opportunities,” explains Ann-Kathrin Huneck.

So what is this escape room in particular all about? Whether via their PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, the players find themselves in the Köster production hall. There, a leak testing machine is to be loaded for transport to the customer. But here’s the problem: In Medebach, the power has completely failed. Neither the leak testing machine nor the electronic gate work as a result. This means the first thing to do is activate the emergency power, repair the machine and then find out the code for the production hall gate. It’s a tricky task! Those who make it in the end land directly on the homepage of Paul Köster GmbH. There, they can learn more about the company, special mechanical engineering and the wide range of vocational training and dual study programs offered by the globally active company from Medebach.

With this idea — one that is likely unique both regionally and nationally — the company wants to break new ground in finding trainees, get them interested in the company and thus also combat skilled-worker shortages in the long term. It’s virtual, innovative and creative!

If you want to try the challenge, you can start the game directly on the homepage and give it a go. “With what we’ve done here, we are of course particularly addressing young people, school students and those who are interested in an apprenticeship or dual studies. But we are also happy if we can inspire other escape room fans with our idea,” says Ann-Kathrin Huneck.