Developing the next generation of professionals, for the next generation of paper making

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Founded in 1872, our Aschaffenburg Paper Mill in Germany is one of the oldest mills in Europe. Yet it’s also one of our most advanced and forward-thinking.

It is helping us to meet the targets of our new ‘Now & Next’ Sustainability Strategy by protecting natural resources, driving carbon reduction and now, by welcoming six new apprentices and equipping people to lead the transition to the Circular Economy.

People are the foundation of our success

The talent of today wants to work for a company that is tackling global sustainability challenges. We are already championing the shift to a circular economy and our partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation allows us to integrate circular economy thinking into the culture of our entire business, including our learning and development programmes.

This focus is increasingly helping us to attract a modern, diverse, motivated workforce at all levels and in September our Aschaffenburg Paper Mill was delighted to welcome six new apprentices; Lukas, Sebastian, Leon, Lars, Evelyn, and Philip.

This talented young group will train with us for up to three and a half years, in a variety of roles: as an industrial engineer, paper technologist, industrial mechanic, paper technologist, industrial clerk and an electronics industrial engineer respectively. These apprenticeships are in addition to the places we offer at Aschaffenburg in industrial engineering and electronics automation technology and are part of our commitment to lead our industry by developing the next generation of paper making professionals.

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Engaging young people in the circular economy

For some of our apprentices, like Evelyn Wiebe, it’s not the first time they have set foot inside the Aschaffenburg mill. We cannot build a sustainable future alone so for many years we’ve opened our doors to school trips and the wider public so they can see the part we all play in protecting our planet.

''I got to know the company during a mill tour with my school. I want to complete my apprenticeship and continue my training.'' — Evelyn Wiebe, serving an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk

Another step towards a more sustainable world

We want all our employees to enjoy fulfilling and meaningful roles and the apprentices in Aschaffenburg are joining a mill with a strong tradition in tackling sustainability challenges. For example, to produce its range of lightweight papers the mill has only used 100% recycled fibres as feedstock for over three decades. In addition, by switching to a new cogen power plant (CHP) in 2013, we are producing paper at Aschaffenburg today with 35% less CO2 emissions than in 2010.

We welcome all our apprentices, wish them success with their training and look forward to building a more sustainable world together.


Source: DS Smith