Last updateThu, 11 Aug 2022 8am

Gautschfeier: Schreiner Group celebrates journeyman's baptism

There are not many rituals that are still contemporary after 500 years. But this is undoubtedly true of the Gautsch celebration. On Friday, 22 July, it was that time again: at Schreiner Group in Oberschleißheim, five apprentices celebrated the crowning conclusion of their apprenticeship with the traditional journeyman's baptism. A dip in the cool water symbolically cleansed them of the sins of their training.

At first glance, an international high-tech company and a centuries-old tradition don't really go together. But Schreiner Group from the Munich area proves the opposite. At the hidden champion, the traditional Gautsch celebration is the annual highlight of the training calendar - great fun and a well-deserved honour for the apprentices who have completed their training. Training is an important building block for Schreiner Group's success. More than 90 percent of all apprentices are taken on after their training, during which they receive intensive and personal support, 30 days of holiday, joint apprentice days and many company events.
The Gautsch celebration was opened again this year by the Schleißheimer Schlosspfeiffern, who provided musical accompaniment for the entire event. After Managing Director Roland Schreiner had warmly welcomed all guests and "Gäutschlinge", he gave the floor to Gautschmeister Daniel Jäger. Dressed in historical clothing, he reminded the "Kornuten" (from Latin Cornutus, "horned one": apprentices in the printing trade who have not yet received their journeyman's certificate) with a wink of the eye of the big and small sins of their apprenticeship. A little time for the media designers, media technologists flexo and screen printing as well as machine and plant operators to take a deep breath before they were plunged into the 600-litre vat. But in the summery temperatures, the four packers hardly had to lend a hand - some of the Gäutschlingers would probably have jumped into the cool water voluntarily.
But the cooling in the wooden tub is not so much due to the hot weather, but much more to the old craft tradition. There is evidence of couching among printers as early as the 16th century. The journeymen of the so-called black guild were symbolically washed clean of the "mischief, faultiness, muddling and hucksterism" of their apprenticeship. In 2022, Schreiner Group still maintains this fine tradition. "For us, a good apprenticeship is both a social obligation and an entrepreneurial safeguard for the future," says Managing Director Roland Schreiner, who personally presented the Gautschbriefe to all apprentices after the journeyman's baptism. "I am very pleased that most of those who celebrated their apprenticeship graduation today will continue to stay with the company. For us, apprenticeships are and will remain a model of success!"



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