Lünen. The RETHMANN Group, consisting of the firms, REMONDIS, RHENUS and SARIA, is once again continuing its comprehensive apprenticeship initiative this year despite the current global economic crisis. A total of 1,289 young people now have apprenticeship places at the company to learn one of the 25 different professions in the modern water and environmental service branch as well as in the logistics sector. This family-run business, which is based in the German city of Lünen, has, therefore, one of the largest apprenticeship programmes available in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. REMONDIS, a leading water and environmental service company, has a total of 626 apprentices this year whilst the Group's logistics division, RHENUS, has 600. 63 young men and women are also currently learning a profession at SARIA, one of the leading specialists for recycling animal and vegetable products and residual waste.
A number of the new apprentices were invited to the Lippe Plant in Lünen where they were welcomed by Norbert Rethmann, chairman of the supervisory board of RETHMANN AG & Co. KG. He stressed just how important the social market economy was if fair competition was to be guaranteed. He spoke out against the current move towards re-nationalizing council services, a trend that is even being supported by conservative parties during the current election campaign. The only way to achieve the greatest levels of efficiency and offer local inhabitants lower fees and charges is by ensuring that there is fair competition between the private and public sectors. Existing jobs can only be guaranteed and new jobs created if medium-sized businesses are supported. Changes need to be made both at national and regional level if this is to be achieved. Norbert Rethmann named the two main reasons preventing fair competition as being the fact that public sector companies need not pay VAT and the manner in which tenders are awarded.
As medium-sized companies are the backbone of the German economy and by far the biggest employers, support must, above all, come from the individual regions. Norbert Rethmann believes that there is room for improvement in the district of Unna, too, where REMONDIS, RHENUS and SARIA are based. The three RETHMANN Group companies employ around 2,600 people, of whom 162 are apprentices, in the district of Unna and the neighbouring towns of Coesfeld, Dortmund and Hamm alone. Companies especially need the support of the councils in the towns where they are based, said Norbert Rethmann. There are plenty of examples elsewhere. Thus REMONDIS works successfully with councils in over 100 towns and districts where public private partnerships have been set up, for example in Frankfurt, Essen, Oberhausen, Düsseldorf and Schwerin, guaranteeing future-oriented jobs for those living there. A further example is the successful cooperation agreements operated by RHENUS in the area of public transport, for example in the district of Wesel. In times such as these, when councils have less money at their disposal and the economy is stagnating, these many examples clearly show how the public and private sectors can work successfully together as partners and find the best possible, lowest-priced and most efficient services in an atmosphere of fair competition.
Following Norbert Rethmann's welcoming speech, Wolfgang Steinberg, chairman of the company's works committee, and Michael Mohri, technical head of REMONDIS Production, introduced the company to the new apprentices. They were then taken on a tour of the Lippe Plant where they were able to get a first impression of the many technical facets of a modern environmental service business.
REMONDIS is one of the world's largest privately run water and environmental service companies providing services for more than 20 million people. With its branches and associated companies, REMONDIS is active in 21 European countries as well as in China, Japan, Taiwan and Australia.
REMONDIS SE & Co. KG
T +49 2306 106-515
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