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Trainees are not there to make coffee

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29.04.2020
Newcomers to the company want to get involved, share their ideas and feel like they belong. Yvonne Höft and her recruiters support these goals

DMK has altered its approach to recruiting the next generation – what are the biggest changes?

Now, we have raised our profile at schools and career fairs. We want to reach new employees right at the outset, and show them the kind of possibilities offered by a dairy cooperative like DMK, and the range of development opportunities they would have here.

How do you do that?

It’s important for trainees to be able to find us on websites such as Azubi.de, Unicum, Ausbildung.de but that alone is not enough. Our company has to raise its profile so people can learn about it, understand it and get a sense of what it is like. We offer schools and students the chance to visit our plants and show what a dairy technologist does. Very few know that these employees operate gigantic machines that process raw milk into become milk that’s ready to drink, butter, yoghurt, quark, cheese and other things.

How do visitors react?

They are often amazed and impressed at everything a high-tech dairy can do in these digital times. They also get a chance to experience milk closeup close. At the dessert stand, they can taste how we mix quark with totally different ingredients to create new products. The main thing is that they gain a sense that milk is not anonymous – they can talk to other trainees and our plant manager during the tour. They can ask questions and that makes them feel safe, and they can see whether DMK as a company is right for them. That is better than any online advert.

We want to reach new employees right at the outset, and show them the kind of possibilities offered by a dairy cooperative like DMK, and the range of development opportunities they would have here.

Yvonne Höft - Head of Recruitment, Employer Branding

How do you present the company at trade fairs?

At the Ideenexpo in Hanover, Germany’s biggest youthevent for science and technology, for example, we gave people a real feeling of what it is like to be a dairy laboratory assistant. We staged experiments and tested milk products. Visitors were also able to see what can be made with milk through chemical, physical and microbiological processes.

Are applicants changing?

Yes, they are more self-possessed, more critical and their expectations are higher. Sometimes it feels as though it is us who are being interviewed for a job. They want to know how we treat employees, how they can continue to develop, how sustainable our work is and how open we are to new ideas...

They really want to get involved. How do you handle that?

We are delighted! Trainees are not supposed to make coffee. That wish really underlines DMK’s guiding principle, that everyone can get involved. In Bremen, we have set up a think tank for trainees with other companies. One of the things they look into is how to persuade young people to take up apprenticeships. And during our start-up days, which take place in the first month of their training, all of our trainees meet up at a camp and get to know each other. We tell them about the company’s history, DMK’s strategy and vision. And then the trainees get together in workshops and develop ideas to improve the world of work, among other things.

Apprenticeships at DMK

Dairy technologist m/ f /x

Duration of the apprenticeship: 3 years

Requirements: 

  • Very good graduating grade from secondary school
  • Good grades in the natural sciences
  • Good team player

​​​Description: Dairy technologists process milk for further production. During the process, they use recipes and standards specific to each product, operate process control technology and monitor the processes. They prepare production plants, machines and equipment, operate them, clean them and reconfigure them. They also intervene in the event of a malfunction. Additionally, they check packaging materials and operate filling and packaging systems

Dairy industry laboratory assistant m/ f /x

Duration of training the apprenticeship: 3 years

Requirements: •

  • Very good graduating grade from secondary school
  • Good grades in the natural sciences
  • Good team player

Description: Dairy industry laboratory assistants carry out chemistry, physics and microbiology tests on dairy products at each stage in the production process. They take samples, analyze them and document the results. Dairy industry laboratory assistants also check the quality of all the materials used in the production process.

Here you can find information about apprenticeships at DMK: Apprenticeship-based professions - For school students

MARCUS GRABBERT on his time as a dairy technologist at the site in Altentreptow

I have been working at the company for 19 years, and as a dairy technologist for more than 10 years, and I still find this job as exciting as ever. It’s really fun to follow the whey from delivery to finished product. Every single day is different! Even when I was a trainee, I was interested in the production and filling processes: We made and packaged UHT milk, fresh milk, butter, and products in pots. Later, I worked at the Altentreptow site, in the drying facility and afterwards, when wheyco was set up, I was a team leader, steering and monitoring the whole production process. The complex production processes involved in making whey derivatives were and still are a real challenge for me. You sit in the dairy’s cockpit. Especially as conditions change daily, you need a lot of skill and knowledge to make sure that all the products are of a consistently high quality. You need to be pretty good at organizing, too, given today’s todays automated and controlled production processes.

Especially as conditions change daily, you need a lot of skill and knowledge to make sure that all the products are of a consistently high quality.

Marcus Grabbert - dairy technologist at the site in Altentreptow

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