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Train professionals in-house: ‘industrial sewing is more sexy than people think..’

18 December 2017

At Sidijk, approximately 30 industrial sewers work to make air cushions and foam filled products. A different vocation. There are very few people who can do this work well. It demands insight and experience. Being skilled with machines. And often also physical strength. A combination of skills that is hard to find.

Distance to the labour market
That is why at Sidijk we always look for professionals who want to, and can, do this work. We train people ourselves because there is practically no school where you can learn this trade. We have recently commenced an interesting project with the municipality of Heerenveen. Here we offer people with a distance to the labour market the chance to learn the trade. And to possibly progress to a permanent job.

Two people find a job
And that is win-win. Under good supervision we allow people to become acquainted with the job. They first start with the more simple work: the sewing of boardings or semi-finished goods for air cushions. They learn to work with the material, the machines. And they do repetitive work where the work pressure is not too high. If the collaboration works, we will continue with that person. In this way two people have already got a permanent job at Sidijk. 

Hands free
It is also a good solution internally. We have more capacity available for the more straight-forward work. This frees up our experienced people for the complex projects. Take our air cushions. This is all tailor-made work: each project is different. We are now busy with an enormous fall protection mat for a ski slope, for example. Twenty meters wide, a meter and a half high and 50 metres long. As industrial sewer you have to be able to read your drawings for this. And for each component you have to know exactly what you are doing.

Pretty sexy
We now offer seven people an educational place to gain experience. And there is certainly a wealth of talent. It is nice that you can make people really enthusiastic for this work. No, industrial sewing does not instantly sound very ‘sexy’. But this changes when people see that you can make nice, sporty and hip products. That you achieve something really tangible. That often opens up a whole world to them. And we are happy to introduce people to this world…

Bert-Jan Netjes
Production Manager

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