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we train our own paper technologists

On March 22nd delfort, represented by Josef Glawogger and Ales Krmela, rocked the Label Life Award 2018 finals in Helsinki! Our own paper-making apprenticeship has made it to the final round of UPM Raflatac’s Label Life Awards, which honors the best social and environmental sustainability projects. Next to Henkel, BASF and Dow Consumer Solutions we were more than proud to be the only paper-making business invited to participate in the finals! Read more about our paper-making school in this interview with Josef Glawogger, Senior Manager Corporate Manufacturing at delfort.

“Our qualified experts are the key to our success. That is why we have started to train them ourselves”, says Josef Glawogger, Senior Manager Corporate Manufacturing. In order to do so delfort established a 14-month apprenticeship for paper technologists in October 2014. The first seven trainees recently passed the final examination, four of them with distinction. First established in Hungary, delfort plans to roll out the program to other delfort mills and started the second round of courses in 2016. Josef Glawogger speaks about this unique and distinct project.

Why did you launch this certified papermaking apprenticeship?
delfort’s greatest strength are our passionate employees who have a great deal of experience and the willingness to learn. Nevertheless, in some countries there is simply no public educational institution for paper technologists. That is why delfort has transformed this deficiency into an opportunity by developing a delfort-specific training program for paper technologists. It is based on certified and authorized public apprenticeship programs. Each of our employees with at least two years of work experience can apply. There was a great interest for the courses that started in October 2016!

Please give us a rough overview of the training program.
The apprenticeship starts with a theoretical part and class-room training with external and internal trainers, including home study. During the practical part the trainees need to complete different tasks on the production line and in the laboratory and participate in excursions to other paper mills. In a third step, the trainees have to run a paper machine using a simulation program that helps to detect risks and tests their ability to handle this technology.

Infographic: Our paper technologist training

What is the theoretical content about?
The trainees are taught chemistry, physics and mathematics, before continuing with pulp protection, stock preparation, knowledge about chemical additives and fillers and the whole production flow. Additionally, the trainees consolidate their knowledge and sharpen their skills for the final exam with home study and tests.

What does the practical part of the education look like?
The practical part consists of a mill visit, converting, teaching in the laboratory, stock preparation and coating kitchen. The apprentices’ knowledge is then put to the test by a paper machine simulation program. After the practical part, the participants should be ready for the final examination.

Please describe the procedure of the final examination.
We take the examination process very seriously and invite official auditors and independent translators to ensure an objective assessment. In the examination the trainees have to demonstrate their knowledge in all the course sub-jects. Following successful graduation, our employees are equipped with the same knowledge and skills as graduates from public papermaker apprenticeships.

The education is very demanding. How do the trainees motivate themselves?
There are two main drivers: the great team spirit at delfort and outstanding trainers like Lajos Hornyak that help the trainees through this demanding apprenticeship. They work together closely, also during home study, to inspire and help each other and to meet demanding challenges together. The whole apprenticeship is very demanding since the participants still have to work full time. The home study materials provide a very convenient form of self-study that helps the apprentices to consolidate their knowledge and sharpen their skills for the final exam. Taking this course binds them together as a team, also in their daily jobs.

The first seven graduates recently passed the exam
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