Festive send-off for KWS apprentices

Einbeck, July 27, 2022

After a two-year break caused by the coronavirus pandemic, KWS apprentices finally had an opportunity to celebrate the completion of their different apprenticeships and dual study programs in person along with their family and friends in the Blockhaus in Wetze. A total of 40 apprentices completed the program this year. The apprentices were presented with their diplomas and gifts during a barbecue. The group also had plenty of time to talk with one another before and after the official portion of the ceremony. The music was provided by the duo Tatjana Kusheva and Adriana de Paduanis.

Festive send-off for KWS apprentices

The Class of 2022

A total of 17 agricultural-technical assistants, nine plant technologists, five industrial clerks, one industrial sales representative in wholesale and export management, three technicians for industrial electronics engineering, two industrial mechanics and four dual-study program graduates passed their exams and, thus, successfully completed their training at KWS.

“The completion of an apprenticeship program represents a person’s first step into the work world and lays a solid foundation for his or her future career,” said Eva Kreiker, the Lead of Business Partner Human Resources. Kreiker stressed that the apprentices’ successful completion of their training represented a major milestone in their lives and created a base that they could build on throughout their careers. "If you ever face challenges in life or maybe even fail at something and begin to wonder what you should do next, you should remember that you have the proof in black on white – or I should say orange on white – that demonstrates that you have already achieved major goals through your very own hard work and efforts.” In her address, she compared the apprenticeship programs at KWS to the roots of a plant. “A plant can grow only if it draws on a robust and good network of roots,” Kreiker said. “Your successfully completed apprenticeship programs are the network of roots for your future work lives.”

Operating apprenticeship programs during the coronavirus pandemic posed challenges for many companies, including KWS, said Yvonne Knaak-Schweiß, Apprenticeship Coordinator and the Head of Training for Business Occupations at KWS. The lack of physical contact resulting from remote working situations, home schooling and online university lectures required a huge period of adjustment particularly at the beginning of the pandemic. Knaak-Schweiß praised how everyone adapted quickly to the new situation and how it has worked very well since then. “Alternative ways of conducting a dialogue were quickly found,” she said. “These include the virtual lunch and the regular virtual discussion meetings via Teams. The values of KWS – Closeness, Foresight, Reliability and Independence – are being brought to life even during tough times.”

This class of apprentices had one other special feature. In 2019, Milena Deppe became the first female apprentice in the commercial-technical area in 20 years. She completed the program this year with excellent grades. Jochen Flemnitz, the Head of the Workshop, and Manuel Adams, the Head of Training for Commercial-Technical Occupations at KWS, stressed one point: “You brought a breath of fresh air into this heavily male apprenticeship area and may serve as a role model who will encourage other girls and women to give this apprenticeship occupation a try as well.”

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. Around 6,000 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.3 billion in fiscal 2020/2021. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €250 million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All figures excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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Yvonne Knaak-Schweiß
Yvonne Knaak-Schweiß
Apprenticeship coordinator
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