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The junior station in Thusis

Since 2016, Thusis station has been a junior station. Apprentices used the following questions to find out exactly what this term means and what the advantages and disadvantages of this concept are.

Lernende Junior Station Thusis, 06. January 2021

1 What does junior station mean?

A junior station is run mainly by apprentices from different apprenticeship years. Here, the apprentices are responsible for all daily tasks at the station.

2 Who else works there?

Currently there are nine apprentices and five trained travel advisers or “coaches” working at the junior station in three different shifts. One apprentice and one coach work on the early shift. They are responsible for opening the station and getting everything ready for sales to start. The middle shift consists of a single apprentice who already has a lot of experience at the station so he or she can support the others in the best possible way. The late shift consists of one apprentice and one coach. They close the station at night and make sure everything is as it should be. 

Once a month there is what we call the “JS-Day”. That is the day when there are only apprentices working at the station. This means that the apprentices who are assigned to the early and late shifts have additional responsibility, as they have to disable or enable the alarm system and carry out all other tasks independently. The apprentices support each other because they cannot ask for help from the coaches during the day.

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3 What happens in the course of a normal day at the junior station?

Well. first thing in the morning the doors are opened, the tills are prepared, the systems are started and the foreign money is counted. As well as selling tickets, there are various daily tasks to be done, both at the counter and around the station. These include recording the daily turnover or checking various cancellations and refunds for the accounts department. And of course somebody has to collect the money from the parking meters and the left-luggage lockers. The safe is checked daily and once it contains a specific amount, the money is taken to the bank. During the day, our friendly staff attend to our customers’ wishes and needs. In the evening, the late shift is responsible for locking all the doors and not leaving the workplace until everything is switched off and locked up.

4 What are the advantages of a junior station?

Probably the greatest advantage of the junior station is that the apprentices doing a stint at the junior station – whether for a semester or a whole year – can learn a lot and also become much more independent due to the responsibility they have. The apprentices can also show they are capable of working in a team as they are working with different colleagues every day due to the size of the team.

5 How independently do the apprentices work?

The apprentices are basically responsible for virtually everything. But the weekly or monthly closing of the accounts is taken care of by the coaches. In addition to the daily tasks for which the apprentices are responsible according to the day and shift, they are also assigned to a department and given regular duties. At the moment, these are the following departments:

Accounts
This department is responsible for checking the accounts regularly so that closing the accounts at the end of the month is relatively easy and straightforward. In other words, all accounts are checked weekly for amounts and correctness.

 

Scheduling
A third-year apprentice is responsible for scheduling shifts for the apprentices for a whole month. This person assigns the apprentices to various shifts throughout the coming month and creates an overview of who is present when as well as which apprentices are absent from school, courses or for other reasons and when.

 

Events
Apprentices who are responsible for “Events” plan events and carry them out. These are special events such as a Christmas market or a dinner for all the junior station staff.

 

Display material
This department deals with organising, providing and keeping track of display material. If other stations order material via the online shop, they are responsible for organising transport and providing the goods at the right time.

 

Orders
Apprentices in this department are responsible for the ordering of brochures and office stationery.

 

Brochures and advertising spaces
In this department, the apprentices are responsible for showcases and other advertising spaces. They are also responsible for brochure stocks. It is important that there are plenty of brochures in stock and that the offers and information are always up to date.

 

At the counter, apprentices work as independently as they can and only ask a coach when their own knowledge or research does not help in solving a particular task.

6 What goals do the apprentices have?

Their goals are taking responsibility and developing social and specialist skills. They are supposed to carry out daily tasks quickly and correctly, and work competently and independently for their particular departments. They should be able to work as part of a team and spend an informative and successful time at Thusis station. 

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