February 4, 2021

Wood mechanic training at Kettnaker: With team spirit and hand tools to your own product

The wood mechanic apprenticeship in our furniture factory not only includes the usual training steps, but also additional exciting application-related project work - here the "wood-enthusiastic" young people learn to work in a customer-oriented manner on their own responsibility and at the same time get the chance to prove their skills. In 2020, four young apprentices as wood mechanics jointly mastered the challenge of developing and manufacturing a large counter for the newly renovated multi-purpose hall in Dürmentingen. "Wolfgang Kettnaker offered to have his apprentices plan and make the counter for the hall, which is used for sports and club activities," apprentice Jonas explains the responsible task. The team of two female and male apprentices realised the entire production chain from planning and costing to ordering materials and independent production and pre-assembly in the training centre of the furniture manufacturer Kettnaker. The young skilled woodworkers were also responsible for the installation on site and the ceremonial inauguration of the counter. "We are very proud of our apprentices and congratulate them on this great project! The gymnasium and festival hall is of central importance for the people of Dürmentingen as a place for local leisure activities. I am pleased that our apprentices were able to contribute to the design of this local meeting place," explains Managing Director Wolfgang Kettnaker.

Benefit of location for apprentices at Kettnaker: experience all production steps from design to assembly
The four "counter experts" Anna, Clarissa, Jonas and Nils have completed a three-year dual wood mechanic apprenticeship at Kettnaker. The apprenticeship at the furniture factory is divided into two disciplines: Furniture and Interior Construction and Monitoring of Production Equipment. "The special thing about Kettnaker is that the entire production cycle takes place in-house, in a comprehensive way that does not exist in other companies. For example, assembly at other companies often takes place in different countries and not in one place like at Kettnaker," explains apprentice Fynn, who is currently in his second year of apprenticeship. Also given this background, the apprenticeship as a wood mechanic at Kettnaker is particularly attractive for young people who are interested in a profession in a future-oriented context. Kettnaker Möbelmanufaktur combines traditional craftsmanship with modern high-tech manufacturing technology - a successful combination from which the apprentices also benefit.

Wood mechanic apprenticeship: not just a mens' thing (anymore)
Marina, who is currently completing her first year of apprenticeship, also decided to become a wood mechanic because she likes working with wood. She immediately refutes prejudices that the profession is too "hard" for women: "Everyone should be allowed to learn their dream job," says Marina. Clarissa, now a journeywoman at Kettnaker, agrees: "I really enjoy working with wood and machines and am happy to be able to use my manual skills." Wolfgang Kettnaker confirms the enthusiasm of young women for training as wood mechanics. "For the past ten years, we have been receiving more and more applications from women. Almost half of our apprentices now consist of women." Thanks to an increasing return to craftsmanship and the advantages of having its own training center, Kettnaker Möbelmanufaktur is a popular trainer in the Upper Swabia region in the field of woodworking professions, especially for wood mechanics. According to Wolfgang Kettnaker, a craft-based education still forms the basis for modern work: "You have to know how the material works and get to know the types and properties of wood. Then you also understand how state-of-the-art machines work with it."


Prospective wood mechanics: Part of the "Kettnaker family" right from the start

Prospective wood mechanics: Part of the "Kettnaker family" right from the start. Trust, openness and mutual appreciation characterize the professional relationship at Kettnaker on all levels. The opportunity to realize your own projects as an apprentice is a leap of faith that pays off for everyone involved. Working together on optimizations is the goal. "We don't need 80 top soloists, but rather interdivisional thinking, which you learn in apprenticeship." That's why Wolfgang Kettnaker has introduced a steering group consisting of elected employees from different departments. This is intended to proactively identify problems and propose solutions. Apprentices are among the eight members of the group, which reports to the management circle once a month. "It's important to me to have seismographs at different levels who are directly involved in what's going on. The results of the steering group are excellent, a great benefit for the entire company," Kettnaker explains. Since trainees are heavily involved in processes from the very beginning, this station is often just the first step in a long career at Kettnaker. A length of service of over 20 years is not uncommon among Kettnaker employees in Dürmentingen.Interested in an apprenticeship as a wood mechanic at the Kettnaker furniture factory?
Go to www.kettnaker.com/unternehmen/karriere to apply!

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