Frank Recht is an expert in leather. His main job is to prepare expert opinions for court proceedings, expert committees, and complaint assessments.

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | September 2023

"The work of a tanner is different in that the meshing of craft skills with chemical processes is unique. "

TFL Wet-end leather technologist Felix Wengenroth spoke to Frank Recht who chairs the examination board for leather specialists at the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce about training young people to become tanners, how it has changed and why the craft is still something very special.

  • "What distinguishes the profession of a specialist in leather production and tanning technology (hereafter used synonymously: tanner) from other industrial professions and chemical professions?"

The work of a tanner is different in that the meshing of craft skills with chemical processes is unique. The tanner has to keep everything in mind, starting with a biological derivative that reacts to both chemical and mechanical influences, continuing with the parameters of process control and culminating in ecological considerations. In addition, there is the wide dispersion of the end product. Everybody can find and choose their direction, ranging from fashion to automotive leather.

  • "What does training as a specialist in leather production and tanning technology involve? How long does the training take? How much is hands-on and how much is theory?"

Training to become a specialist in leather production and tanning technology usually takes 3 years. This is divided into school-based block teaching and hands-on parts. The school-based part is carried out by the Kerschensteiner School Reutlingen and lasts 14-16 weeks per school year (in two blocks). The time between the school blocks is spent by the apprentices in the training companies, where they are taught practical skills. There is also the option of shortening the training to 2.5 years if one performs well.

  • "What form does the final examination take?"

There are two parts to each. The theoretical and practical final examination Part 1, which takes place after just under 2 years, and the theoretical and practical final examination Part 2, which is at the end of the training time.

  • "It is now officially no longer called “Gerber” (tanner), which was accompanied by a change in the examination regulations. Has the examination become more demanding due to the change in the regulations?"

The examination has become more demanding due to the new regulations. All individual examination parts are now included in the final grade and the intermediate examination is wholly relevant for graduation. It was different in the past. In addition, there are now complete recipe specifications, which require a higher level of understanding of the process and chemistry.

  • "After the final examinations brought you to us, what was the overall result this year?"

All 7 apprentices passed. One of the students in this year group completed his exams in the early examination last winter, and all the other 6 were able to complete their examinations in the scheduled time. Congratulations again at this point.

  • "Why do you think young people choose to work in the leather industry?"

Most students come to the leather sector through a family history or casual work experience. At least they get to know our industry outside these opportunities.

  • "What does the work of the examination chairperson entail?"

First of all, of course, the official final examination. But there is more to it than just the examination itself. The interpretation of the examination as well as the examination tasks in detail are created by the entire team of examiners and I am responsible for the coordination and preparation of all parts of the examination here.

  • "So where do you go from here with examinations and your work as a chairperson?"

Currently, the prospects are not as hoped for, as we only have one application from Switzerland for the training period 2023-2026. The future is quite uncertain since last year's classes did not have the desired size either. Nevertheless, as long as a chairperson is needed for the examinations, I am happy to be part of it.

Personal details:Frank Recht is an expert in leather. His main job is to prepare expert opinions for court proceedings, expert committees, and complaint assessments.

Furthermore, Frank Recht chairs the examination board for leather specialists at the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which is responsible for the final examination for specialists in leather production and tanning technology.

On behalf of TFL, we thank Mr Recht for participating in this interview and warmly congratulate all the graduates of the previous examination on their professional qualifications.

Frank Recht is an expert in leather. His main job is to prepare expert opinions for court proceedings, expert committees, and complaint assessments.

Original German version

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | September 2023

"Die Arbeit eines Gerbers unterscheidet sich insofern, dass die Durchmischung aus handwerklichen Aspekten mit chemischen Prozessen einzigartig ist. "

TFL Wet-end Techniker Felix Wengenroth sprach mit Frank Recht, dem Vorsitzenden des Prüfungsausschusses für Lederfachleute bei der IHK Reutlingen, über die Ausbildung junger Menschen zum Gerber, wie sie sich verändert hat und warum das Handwerk immer noch etwas ganz Besonderes ist..

  • "Was unterscheidet den Beruf der Fachkraft für Lederherstellung und Gerbereitechnik (folgend synonym genutzt: Gerber) von anderen industriellen Berufen bzw. chemischen Berufen?"

Die Arbeit eines Gerbers unterscheidet sich insofern, dass die Durchmischung aus handwerklichen Aspekten mit chemischen Prozessen einzigartig ist. Angefangen von einem biologischen Derivat, dass sowohl auf chemische als auch maschinelle Einflüsse reagiert, über die Parameter der Prozessteuerung bis hin zum ökologischen Gedanken, muss ein Gerber alles im Blick haben. Zudem kommt die weite Streuung des Endartikels. Von Fashion bis hin zu Automobilleder kann jeder seine Richtung finden und wählen.

  • "Wie sieht die Ausbildung zur Fachkraft für Lederherstellung und Gerbereitechnik aus? Wie lange dauert sie? Wie viel ist Praxis und wie viel ist Theorie?"

Die Ausbildung zur Fachkraft für Lederherstellung und Gerbereitechnik dauert in Regelzeit 3 Jahre. Dies teilt sich auf in schulischen Blockunterricht und Praxisteile. Der schulische Teil wird von der Kerschensteiner Schule Reutlingen ausgeführt und dauert 14-16 Wochen pro Schuljahr (in zwei Blöcken). Die Zeit zwischen den Schulblöcken absolvieren die Auszubildenden in den Ausbildungsbetrieben, wo Ihnen die Praxis gelehrt wird. Zudem besteht bei guten Leistungen die Möglichkeit die Ausbildung auf 2,5 Jahre zu verkürzen.

  • „Wie läuft die Prüfung ab?“

Es gibt jeweils zwei Teile. Die theoretische und praktische Abschlussprüfung Teil 1, die nach knapp 2 Jahren stattfindet, und die theoretische und praktische Abschlussprüfung Teil 2 die am Ende der Ausbildung steht.

  • „Es heißt nun offiziell nicht mehr Gerber, was mit einer Änderung der Prüfungsordnung einher ging. Ist die Prüfung auf Grund der geänderten Ordnung anspruchsvoller geworden?“

Die Prüfung ist durch die neue Ordnung anspruchsvoller geworden. Alle einzelnen Prüfungsteile fließen nun in die Endnote ein und die Zwischenprüfung ist vollumfänglich für den Abschluss relevant. Das war früher anders. Zudem kommen nun vollständige Rezepturaufschriften hinzu, die ein höheres Maß an Prozess- und Chemieverständnis voraussetzen.

  • „Nachdem die Abschlussprüfungen dich zu uns geführt haben, wie sah das Gesamtergebnis dieses Jahr aus?“

Alle 7 Auszubildenden haben bestanden. Einer der Schüler dieses Jahrgangs hat in der vorgezogenen Prüfung vergangenen Winter bereits seinen Abschluss gemacht, aber auch alle anderen 6 haben in der regulären Zeit in Abschluss machen können. An dieser Stelle nochmals herzlichen Glückwunsch.

  • "Warum glaubst Du, entscheiden sich junge Leute für einen Beruf in der Lederbranche?"

Die meisten Schüler kommen über eine familiäre Vorgeschichte oder über zufällige Praktika in den Bereich des Leders. Die wenigstens werden außerhalb dieser Möglichkeiten auf unsere Branche aufmerksam.

  • „Was macht die Arbeit des Prüfungsvorsitzenden aus?“

Zuallererst natürlich die offizielle Abnahme der Prüfung. Dahinter steckt aber mehr als nur die Prüfung selbst. Die Auslegung der Prüfung sowie die Prüfungsaufgaben im Detail werden vom gesamten Team der Prüfer erstellt und mir obliegt hier die Koordination und Vorbereitung aller Prüfungsteile.

  • „Wie geht’s weiter mit Prüfungen und Deiner Arbeit als Vorsitzender?“

Aktuell sind die Aussichten nicht wie gewünscht, da für den Ausbildungszeitraum 2023-2026 nur eine Anmeldungen aus der Schweiz vorliegt. Nachdem auch die letzten Jahrgänge nicht die gewünschte Größe hatten, ist die Zukunft durchaus unsicher zu betrachten. Nichtsdestotrotz, solange ein Vorsitzender für die Prüfungen gebraucht wird, bin ich gerne Teil davon.

Zur Person:Frank Recht ist Sachverständiger im Fachbereich Leder. Seine Hauptaufgabe ist die Anfertigung von Gutachten für Gerichtsverfahren, Sachausschüsse und die Beurteilung von Beanstandungen.

Des Weiteren hält Frank Recht den Vorsitz des Prüfungsausschusses für Lederfachkräfte bei der IHK Reutlingen, die verantwortlich ist für die finale Prüfung zur Fachkraft zur Lederherstellung und Gerbereitechnik.

Wir danken Frank im Namen von TFL für die Teilnahme an diesem Interview und gratulieren allen Absolventen der vorangegangenen Prüfung herzlich zu ihrem Berufsabschluss.

Felix, Germany

Leather Technician at TFL
#leatherambassador #rheinlandgreetings #bloggerrookie
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