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As an internationally successful milk processor, Emmi needs many different kinds of specialist expertise, and the current shortage of specialist staff in Switzerland makes basic vocational training absolutely vital.

Promotion of entrepreneurial, personal, social, technological and methodological skills needs to be balanced: these are the core aspects that Emmi wants to develop internally. In doing this, it has adopted the 70:20:10 approach to development, with 70 % of development taking place during the normal working day, 20 % through targeted feedback and reflection, and 10 % in training courses. Emmi attaches particular importance to the development of personnel in key positions. It organises long-term succession planning and development programmes adapted to it.

Emmi takes a particular interest in its younger employees. The shortage of specialist staff is making basic vocational training more and more important. Everyday work is also strongly impacted by increasing internationalisation and networking, especially at a global company such as Emmi. It’s for that reason that Emmi, every year, sends two younger employees abroad for a year as part of the development programme for «young professionals».

This programme offers well-qualified employees exciting opportunities for both professional and personal development. Emmi also benefits from the transfer of knowledge from company to company. «I found it a very good experience. I learned a new language, got insights into a foreign culture and gained a lot of specialist knowledge,» says Flavio Lüssi, 29, a dairy technologist from Emmen who was posted to Pamplona in Spain from April 2016 to March 2017, having first spent three months in Valencia learning the language.

For the third time since as recently as 2014, two dairy technologists from Switzerland are working with the cheese manufacturer Emmi Roth USA in Platteville and with Lácteos de Navarra’s Kaiku site in Pamplona, Spain. The next exchange programme will start in 2018. Experience of it to date has been positive. «The programme has been very well received,» says Flavia Diener, who is in charge of running it. The foreign companies in particular greatly value the experience of sharing knowledge with the Swiss specialists.

Although the young professionals are well prepared, they still find working abroad a challenge. «It’s a big step for them; it calls for maturity, motivation, flexibility and a great deal of personal commitment, but what they get in return is a wealth of experience that will be absolutely invaluable in terms of their personal and professional development.»