As the demand for flour increases and new mills are subsequently setup, the need for qualified personnel rises as well. Bühler AG, the Swiss processing technology company, has decided to address this issue by establishing the African Milling School (AMS) in Nairobi/Kenya. The first AMS class starts in February 2015.
Taking care of young professionals and successors in the African milling industry, Bühler has launched its African Milling School in the Kenyan capital city Nairobi in February 2015.
"Africa is a market with strong growth," says Martin Schlauri, the Principal of the African Milling School, explaining the significance of the African continent for the Bühler Technology Group. Along with enormous population growth, metropolitanization is taking place as well. The result is a rapidly increasing demand for basic foods which in turn allows the food processing sector to grow. Companies, particularly those that process grain, are ready to invest in new capacity. However, the lack of trained personnel for operation and maintenance is frequently a limitation.
VOCATIONAL SCHOOL FOR MILLERS
The African business metropolis Nairobi, Kenya was selected as the location for the AMS. Just 25 minutes from Nairobi's international airport, it is an ideal place in terms of transportation. The AMS offers young employees from industrial mills a comprehensive and intensive education with a focus on theoretical and practical training.
The goal of the training is to enable millers to manage a milling plant with the best yield, highest quality of flour and optimized cost effectiveness.
Bühler's African Milling School is designed to be a classic vocational school. Following the dual training principle for apprenticeships, it trains apprentices to become certified millers. The core training lasts two years and ends with the miller certification examination. The young millers then have the option to continue their training, after completing at least one year of work experience, with a one-year course to become a head miller. For training as plant manager, an international school must be attended.
REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPANTS
For the enrollment to the Miller’s Apprenticeship Program at the African Milling School, the following requirements must be fulfilled:
• The apprentice must be an employee of a flour milling company
• Minimum age of 20 years
• Good knowledge in English
• Basic education primary/secondary school, Grade C
• They must work in the plant and must gain work experience in all plant sections such as: intake and storage, cleaning, milling, finished product section, packing and quality control
Furthermore, the apprentices must have at least one year of milling experience prior to the attendance of the AMS. The employer handles the enrolment of the trainee at the AMS and will take care of the expense during the courses at the AMS. For each apprentice enrolling for the AMS the mill appoints a suitable person who takes the role as a mentor during the apprenticeship.
LAUNCH IN FEBRUARY 2015
The African Milling School started very well. “We have a full class with 26 apprentice millers from 9 nations. It is a great class with outstanding talents. Some of the apprentices have already a decent work experience. So we enjoy an intensive dialogue. The facilities with the class room, the laboratory and the school mill have proven to be aligned with the demands of operating a modern vocational school. The second miller’s apprenticeship class started in January 2016,” says Martin Schlauri.
TRAINING COURSE FOR MILLERS
The core training to become a miller lasts two years. Students are present at the school for four week periods three times a year. The first year's program covers the areas of grain, grain intake and storage, cleaning and the first part of wheat milling. The second year completes the continuation of the wheat milling as well as the topics of maize milling, end products and quality control. Participants take a mid-term examination after the first year. Successfully completing the apprenticeship earns the professional diploma of miller.
Martin Schlauri, principal of the AMS and grain milling process technologist is been assisted by an experienced milling engineer, Stefan Lutz, at his side for teaching. And, depending on need and the progress of the course, they are assisted by experts from the Bühler employee pool. This ensures that the graduates of the African Milling School can learn from highly qualified and experienced professionals.