No new talent sought …

… by the cement industry suppliers?

For many years now, we as a trade journal have arranged an annual field trip for students to visit a cement plant. This is sponsored by our partners in the suppliers’ industry. With their support, they not only get the opportunity to present themselves and their companies as potential employers, in a technical talk, they can also interest future management professionals in technical aspects. And last but not least, by spending time with the students, they get many opportunities to make direct personal contact and develop first ideas, e.g. for master theses in cooperation with them. Of course, all this comes at a price, not just a financial contribution, but time, too. One and a half days are a lot when your desk is already over-brimming and projects are queuing up.

So, this year, unfortunately, we have not managed to get enough partners on board in generating the interest of these future professionals. Only two long-standing partners showed willing to invest in the ­future. Some companies are plainly not looking for new recruits at present, others aren’t able to free up the personnel required, but are nevertheless interested in other events.

No doubt, some companies will be taking part at the big recruiting fairs, where they will be vying with many other potential employers to win the interest of the students. With regard to the lasting effectiveness of simply handing out to the young people brochures, which may already land in the wastepaper basket later that day, they obviously know better than I do. It is, however, clearly much more intensive to spend one and a half days with 30 to 40 interested students and explore the industry together with them.

The disappointment in the universities was huge! The field trip offers an ideal opportunity to get a taste of our industry as well as a good overview. This time around, we have missed the opportunity to encourage future professionals into the industry. And certainly a few graduates have found their way into the cement industry by this route, as the professors emphatically assured me.

But we aren’t going to give up that quickly! In 2018, we shall be launching another attempt to bring future professionals together with the cement industry and its suppliers. Within your company, please talk to your personnel management and technical departments and discuss whether you would benefit from this opportunity to attract young professionals again or for the first time. We should be delighted if we could all do our bit next year so that our industry doesn’t run dry of new talent.


Anett Fischer
ZKG International