Refugees from Pakistan start permanent employment at K&B

Koenig & Bauer's vocational training program

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Bilal Ahmad (2nd from left) and Saad Malik (centre) proudly present their training certificates. They received their permanent employment contracts from Ralf Sammeck, member of the Koenig & Bauer management board and CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, Jochen Mann, head of training (2nd from right) and Markus Rasche, head of human resources (right)
Bilal Ahmad (2nd from left) and Saad Malik (centre) proudly present their training certificates. They received their permanent employment contracts from Ralf Sammeck, member of the Koenig & Bauer management board and CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, Jochen Mann, head of training (2nd from right) and Markus Rasche, head of human resources (right)

In 2015, when the refugee crisis reached its peak, two Pakistanis began their vocational training at Koenig & Bauer (K&B) in Radebeul near Dresden. After almost 4 years of training, the two, who fled for political and religious reasons, have now received their CIC certificates as skilled workers.

They learned the trade of mechatronics technician, one of the most demanding apprenticeships in Germany. With their vocational qualifications, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed has taken both of them into permanent employment. Bilal Ahmad now works in printing tower assembly, while Saad Malik assembles electrical components on the feeders of Rapida sheetfed offset presses.

Saad Malik now has his qualification in mechatronics. As a skilled worker he now installs electronic components in the printing towers of Rapida sheetfed offset presses
Saad Malik now has his qualification in mechatronics. As a skilled worker he now installs electronic components in the printing towers of Rapida sheetfed offset presses

Successful teamwork

Ahmad and Malik became the first refugees to pass the standard examinations in the Chamber district of Dresden CIC in mechatronics technician. All this was possible because of the 10-strong teaching group of this class. Jochen Mann, head of vocational training, K&B, said, “They all helped them and supported them with every trick in the book. They studied together, repeated the subject matter with the two refugees and explained the processes to them.”

Through the Senior Expert Service, a former master trainer supported Ahmad and Malik in the last three months before the exams so that they can understand and answer the complex questions asked in German by the CIC. In the end, they passed the exams with better results than some trainees from Germany.

Head of training Jochen Mann (right) with the two award-winning young skilled workers Theodor Hahn (left) and Tom Noack (5)
Head of training Jochen Mann (right) with the two award-winning young skilled workers Theodor Hahn (left) and Tom Noack (5)

Sachsenmetall Award for Best of the Year

This year,  as stated by employment lawyers, the employers’ association Sachsenmetall awarded Tom Noack with ‘Best young skilled worker in the electrical trades.’ He was also instrumental in supporting the two refugees in their training. The industrial mechanic, Theodor Hahn, received the award of ‘Best young skilled worker in the industrial metal trades.’

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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