In a tour of the facility with Siemens president & CEO Mr Peter Löscher, she talked to trainees and participants in work study programs about their daily work and routines.
Afterwards, Ms Merkel and Mr Löscher discussed the challenges of preparing young people for their future careers with a trainee, a vocational school teacher and the representative of a company in Berlin that provides vocational training.
Read more: Siemens receives FAC from Outokumpu for stainless steel plant
Against the backdrop of high youth unemployment particularly in southern European countries, the advantages of Germany's work study system and its possible use as a model in other countries were also discussed.
Read more: Blade failure alert at Siemens
Mr Löscher said that "Knowledge is the backbone of our competitiveness. That's why the training of young people is a joint leadership responsibility for us as a company, for governments and for educational institutions."
Germany's work study system
Combining theory and practice, Germany's work study system is also attracting increasing attention in other countries. Just in January 2011, in his State of the Union address, US President Mr Barack Obama mentioned Siemens as a role model for its vocational training offensive.
Currently boasting some 10,000 trainees, of whom about one third are enrolled in work study programs, Siemens is one of Germany's largest private sector providers of vocational training. In the fall of 2012, the company will again open its doors to roughly 2,300 new trainees.