Training: Smart and Strategic
DMK’s development programs are taking on a whole new dimension with arvaport. Lena Herkenhoff, Apprentice Instructor in Zeven, shares some key facts about the new program.

What is arvaport?

arvaport is a training provider for employees who have fewer skills to gain further knowledge in a specialized area. Fifteen people took part in the first round of the program which was made up of classroom teaching and practical elements, with arvaport providing support.

What qualifications can you get?

Employees who don’t have a vocational qualification yet or have a different professional background can take part in the program. After they pass their exam, they are recognized as a plant and machine operator specializing in the food industry.

What are the prerequisites for taking part?

You need to be employed on a permanent contract and be eligible for funding. Once you pass the exam, you stay on and keep working as a DMK employee.

Who is eligible for sponsorship?

Unskilled workers, or employees who have not completed vocational training or who qualified at least four years ago and no longer work in that occupation and are considered unskilled in their current role.

Why should people join arvaport?

We want to counteract the shortage of skilled labor by training and developing people ourselves. By having skilled personnel, we want to ensure the company can sustain its economic success. We also want to raise employee satisfaction and loyalty so we can keep performing well as a company in the future.

“I can say personally that you’re never too old to learn something new.”

– Stefan Weber, Cream Cheese Department


How has the interest level been among employees so far?

Employees from the UHT Products Department and the cream Cheese/Dessert Department in Zeven were able to apply and we were overwhelmed by employees’ level of interest!

What do participants have to do?

They need to complete a final written exam that focuses on production technology, production planning, and economics and social studies. They are well prepared after all the teaching and training from the company and arvaport instructors. And there’s a course in dairy basics that’s carried out in their area of work. They also need to pass a practical exam. That takes place at their plant or machine where they work. The examinations are supervised by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Stade.

Did all the candidates pass?

They all passed their exams, with an average grade of 1.6. We are very proud of that!

“Initially, you have to re-learn how to learn – later it was lots of fun with the group and teachers.”

– Stefan Rathjen, UHT Products Department, Zeven

What did that give them?

They obtained a recognized vocational qualification as a plant and machine operator in the food industry. For the company, the aim was to ensure the material they studied went beyond a workplace qualification. Once they finish their training, employees can keep on developing themselves professionally – ideally at DMK! Some of the participants now want to become master craftsmen or women, which wouldn’t have been possible for them before. Overall, these measures mean people can further develop themselves not only educationally but also personally.