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Interview with experts: Training opportunities in the paper and packaging industry

Technical Operations Manager Tobias Steeger
planet-beruf.deWhat training opportunities are there in the paper and packaging industry?

Tobias Steeger: At our company, we train packaging technologists, machine and plant operators specialising in print finishing and paper processing as well as media technologists in printing. In the commercial field, we offer training to become an industrial clerk. There are other options, such as paper technologist or media technologist for print processing and, of course, industrial mechanics.
For example, trainees use a gluing machine to glue the folding flaps of medicine packaging.

planet-beruf.de: What school entry requirements are necessary?

Tobias Steeger: That depends on the career you choose. Machine and plant operator is a two-year apprenticeship and does not go into much depth in terms of content. A secondary school leaving certificate is sufficient. The third year of training for packaging technologists is more demanding in terms of content. An intermediate school-leaving certificate is better.

A die-cutting machine in an industrial company in the paper and packaging industry

In this industry, trainees work with various machines, for example a punching machine.


planet-beruf.de: What do the trainees learn in the company?

Tobias Steeger: Firstly, of course, they learn how to work with machines. It is important to me that trainees have a varied working day and can work with several machines, such as printing, gluing, punching or coating machines. Enrobing machines are used to produce toy packaging, for example.

We also manufacture many products for the media industry, including fan boxes for celebrities. One of our trainees was delighted to be able to work on the production of a fan box for his favourite musician.

Machine and plant operators learn how to operate, check and maintain the machines correctly. We also show them how to repair less complex machines themselves.

Packaging technologists produce CAD drawings on the computer at the customer's request and select the right material. CAD stands for "computer-aided design". To do this, they familiarise themselves with the various properties of the materials. They also consider which finishes would be possible on the product in order to be able to offer these to the customer. For example, hot foil stamping in gold, silver or glossy black.

Print media technologists work on the printing machines and take care of the printing processes. Among other things, they learn about the pre-press stage and which ink/water ratio leads to a consistent print image and ideal machine performance.

planet-beruf.de: What strengths and personal qualities should interested young people bring with them?

Tobias Steeger: In any case, mechanical and technical understanding and manual skills to operate, maintain, set up and repair the machines.

Spatial thinking is also important for visualising the structure of packaging.

Packaging technologists also have the task of instructing and instructing employees. You should therefore have good communication skills.

planet-beruf.de: What opportunities are there after the apprenticeship?

Tobias Steeger: There are various opportunities for further training. In the technical field, further training is possible to become an industrial foreman specialising in paper and plastics processing. In the commercial field, you can train to become an industrial business administrator or then a business administrator. As an industrial business administrator, for example, you are the interface between the office and production.


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