Carl Stahl’s Tina Lehnigk is the national champion. Within the scope of the European Vocational Skills Week, which the EU Commission this year used to highlight the major importance of vocational training, awards were presented to the best apprentices of skilled crafts in Germany at a ceremony held in Münster on 10 December 2016. Tina Lehnigk from Carl Stahl Süd GmbH’s Munich site was named national champion in the vocational profession of rope-making. EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen congratulated the winners of the ‘Leistungswettbewerb des Deutschen Handwerks (PLW – Profis leisten was)’ (‘National skilled crafts championships (pros at work)’) by video message. Garrelt Duin, State Minister for Economic Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia, presented the winner’s certificate to the first-place national champion together with ZDH Chairman Hans Peter Wollseifer and Chairman of the Münster Chamber of Industry and Commerce Hans Hund. The certificate is signed by German President Joachim Gauck, patron of the annual competition. An award was also presented to the winner of the design contest ‘Die gute Form im Handwerk – Handwerker gestalten’ (‘Excellence in craftsmanship – artisans design’). Some 3,000 recently examined apprentices took part in the national qualifiers at up to three levels (guilds, chambers of industry and commerce and trade associations). 816 contenders then competed at national level. With females accounting for some 35 percent of the national winners, it is clear that a growing number of women are looking for and finding their future in skilled crafts. In 125 competition professions (including specialist disciplines), the top three accolades were awarded to 266 competitors, with 117 first-place national champions, 88 second-place national champions and 61 third-place national champions. With 38 of the 117 first-place national champions, Bavaria is the most successful state this year, followed by Baden-Württemberg with 24. The 65th ‘Leistungswettbewerb des Deutschen Handwerks (PLW – Profis leisten was)’ and the competition ‘Die gute Form im Handwerk – Handwerker gestalten’ were this year organised by the Münster Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The competition sponsors, the Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks (German Confederation of Skilled Crafts – ZDH) and the Stiftung für Begabtenförderung im Handwerk (Foundation for Talent Promotion in Skilled Crafts – SBB), were supported in the execution by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). "Die gute Form im Handwerk – Handwerker gestalten" competition This year’s ‘Die gute Form’ competition was held in 32 professions. The national competition aimed to sustainably promote creative design and aesthetics even during training. It highlighted the great importance of form and design in various skilled trades – especially for young people who can develop in these with a great deal of creativity. In the first three winners’ categories, 25 people were named first-place award winners, 14 second-place award winners and 10 third-place award winners.