We have increased our headcount, and our approximately 26,600 employees represent no less than 100 different nationalities, of which more than 80 per cent work in production and more than 60 per cent are unskilled workers.
We want to reduce the number of third-party contract staff, and in Germany we phased out the use of such staff in 2020/21. In Sweden and Poland, we use third-party contract staff from time to time. Read more about that here.
Young people and focus on apprentices
We assume responsibility for attracting young people to a career in the food industry. We employ 293 apprentices in our administrative, production and technical divisions in Danish Crown, about half of them in Denmark. It can be a challenge to attract and retain apprentices in the industry, and in 2020/21, we therefore introduced a corps of ambassadors for apprentices that will propose improvements and give us feedback on new initiatives within recruitment and retention. We have also formed new partnerships with one of the preparatory basic education and training programmes, state schools, the Danish Meat Trade College as well as the Danish Agriculture & Food Council.
Moreover, we ran a pilot project in DAT-Schaub in Denmark in 2020/21 to strengthen the skills of those in charge of trainees. They involve the apprentices in our efforts to promote a safe working environment, and in 2021/22, we will roll out the project to the abattoirs in Denmark and expand our focus to include the environment and animal welfare as well.
Skills upgrading for hourly-paid workers
In 2020/21, we increased our focus on competence building among our hourly-paid workers. Going forward to 2025, we will involve our approximately 3,600 Danish-speaking hourly-paid workers in a clarification process and offer at least one training programme to 1,600 of the workers. We will start in 2021/22 by assessing 400 employees’ skills and expect that at least 85 workers will begin Danishlanguage or dyslexia classes.
Our efforts are further strengthened by the partnership we formed in 2021 with the employer organisation Dansk Industri, and the food sector trade union NNF to support the skills upgrading of our hourly-paid workers who lack basic skills.
We will increase the intake of apprentices in production and technical divisions in Denmark by 20 per cent in 2025 relative to 2018.
We support targets 4.4, 8.5 and 8.6 by offering youth and adults the chance to acquire work skills and by creating jobs and decent work.
From vulnerable to employed
We want to help create equal opportunities for all, and we make specific efforts to integrate vulnerable groups such as refugees, war veterans and long-term unemployed people into our work force. That way, we help people gain a foothold in the labour market and contribute to solving a societal challenge.
Here are a few examples:
- At Danish Crown Pork in Horsens, Denmark, we employed two veterans on open-ended contracts in the summer of 2021, and we are committed to employing and integrating more people at the facility.
- DAT-Schaub in Horsens, Denmark, was awarded a CSR prize by the municipality of Horsens for its work to integrate people facing social challenges or who have a chequered past. Today, they constitute around 20 per cent of the headcount.
- Our facility in Haarlem, the Netherlands, has employed more than 150 refugees over the past three years. Most of them now work as operators, and the first one recently completed training to become a production manager.
Intake of apprentices
In the past year, we increased our intake of apprentices. This development is consistent with our overall goal of increasing the intake of apprentices in production and technical divisions in Denmark by 20 per cent. Especially in Poland, we increased our intake of apprentices significantly in 2020/21.