Turning pretzels - just one of many manual skills that Marvin Selbmann learns during his training. © Oliver Bodmer
The bakery trade is running out of people. Marvin Selbmann can't understand that. For him, being a baker is a dream job. After studying economics, he began an apprenticeship at Rischart in Munich. What motivates him?
Marvin Selbmann (24) studied business administration, but then decided on his dream: an apprenticeship as a baker! He just loves the cracking of the crust. That sound that comes from pressing his finger on the still warm rind when the bread has just come out of the oven. "Then I feel like I've created something with my own hands," he says. A feeling that he experiences every day when he stands in front of the three mighty metal doors of the rack ovens in the Rischart bakery. He pulls out a man-sized baking trolley. On top of it lie tray upon tray with dozens of baked goods. Each piece is like a small work of art, Selbmann thinks. "For me, every day is a win."
There is a shortage of baker apprentices: demand is at an all-time low
For about two years, Selbmann has been one of currently 28 trainees (including salespeople) at the traditional bakery Rischart. One that the industry desperately needs right now. Because baker is a shortage profession. Apprenticeships remain increasingly unfilled: The number of trainees in Bavaria has fallen by around 2018 percent to 25 since 900. "Dual training is in crisis, demand is at an all-time low," says Stephan Kopp of the Bavarian bakers' guild. Even traditional bakeries such as the Hofpfisterei are currently running out of staff (tz reported).
The smell of fresh rolls: the trainee smells it every day. © Oliver Bodmer
For Marvin Selbmann, however, the baker's profession had long been a dream. Nevertheless, he first studied economics in Leipzig – for a short time he even considered specializing in taxes. But the desire to learn the baker's trade was greater.
He discovered baking as a hobby many years ago. "I realized that this fulfilled me," he says. The craft is incredibly versatile and creative. "There are hardly any limits," he says.
From shaping bread to rolling pretzels: the craft knows no bounds
At Rischart, he gets to know all facets of the profession, from turning pretzels to shaping bread. A large proportion of the approximately 40,000 baked goods that are produced in the bakery every day are still made by hand by the approximately 150 production employees. To ensure that the goods reach the 18 stores on time, Selbmann starts his shift at 1 a.m. A working day lasts eight hours. When others go to the office, it's the end of the day for him. "Of course, that was unusual at first," he says. But his passion compensates for it.
However, fewer and fewer young people are willing to get involved. Rischart also feels this. "We are noticing that the air is getting thinner," says production manager Christian Merzenich (43). The company can still fill all the vacancies, but finding good people is becoming more difficult. In addition to the remuneration of 1000 to 1200 euros (depending on the year of apprenticeship), the bakery tries to recruit trainees with a free Deutschlandticket and, in the coming years, also with its own new company apartments.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
For Marvin Selbmann, however, the most important thing is to perfect his craft every day. His dream: to open a bakery himself one day. The basis for this is created every working day.