Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

Prize for Germany’s Best Trainee Tanner

Published: July 18, 2019

  Tanner – a highly specialized profession for leather production


  Knowledge of chemistry, biology and machinery essential


Cologne – Felix Wengenroth, employee of specialty chemicals company LANXESS, will receive the “Förderpreis” from Verein für Gerberei-Chemie und -Technik e.V. (Association for Tannery Chemistry and Technology), in recognition of young scientists and engineers. Wengenroth will be awarded in the field of tannery technology at a conference of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS) in Dresden, Germany, from June 25 to 28, 2019. He was Germany’s best graduate, scoring 95 out of 100 points in his final exam with the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

At the end of 2017, Wengenroth completed three years of apprenticeship training in the Leather business unit at LANXESS to become a qualified leather manufacturer and tanning technologist. At the same time, he continued his studies in economics and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in February 2017. As a trainee at LANXESS, he is currently not only gaining technical experience but also applying his knowledge from his economics studies to the conditions of the leather markets in the various regions around the world.

Tanning is a highly specialized profession that requires knowledge of chemistry, machinery and also biology. In Germany, approximately 20 young people start an apprenticeship in this trade each year, which covers all stages of leather processing. This also includes handling measurement and analysis devices for the use of chemicals on various types of leather. Dr. Thomas Brackemeyer, who is responsible for the global organic leather chemicals business in the Leather business unit at LANXESS, explained that “The training is a modern technical profession, in which one deals with chemistry as well as with the machines and the characteristics of the animal skin. Leather is a particularly attractive, technically sophisticated and sustainable material. Today, the manufacturing is harmless in terms of toxicology and the environment. Extensive research provides support here, with our tanners playing a central role in this.”

The tasks during the training include the mechanical and manual processing of raw hides and leather, the examination and analysis of the material for quality control as well as the development of tanning agents. In addition, the prospective tanners learn how to roll, dry, coat, impregnate, grease and dye the leather and also document numerous production processes.

At its Leverkusen site, LANXESS has a research and development pilot plant in which some 60 people are employed. It includes a small-scale tannery, where all the different stages of the manufacturing process, from the salted raw cattle hide to the finished leather, can be carried out just like in a full-scale tannery.

Vocational training has always been high priority at LANXESS. Every year, the company offers in-depth vocational training in a wide array of areas to young persons after they have left secondary school. Whether scientists, technologists or businesspeople – the next generation of specialists are provided with all the necessary tools for a career in the chemical industry. A total of 620 young people are currently completing their vocational training at LANXESS in Germany.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.2 billion in 2018. The company currently has about 15,500 employees in 33 countries and is represented at 60 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.

Forward-Looking Statements

This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions, contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person’s officers, directors or employees accept any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.

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