BAD GODESBERG The “Bäckerei Maus” bakery has to close on some days because it doesn’t have enough employees. It seems there is not only a shortage of bakers, but also of workers in the overall baking trade.
n the city center of Bad Godesberg, there used to be many bakeries where they produced their own bread dough. According to Rolf Maus, who runs a long-established family business, today he is the only master baker there. One can see a sign hanging on the front door of his bakery on Brunnenallee: “The bakery is closed on Sundays and Mondays”. He explains, “We cannot find any bakers.” Many customers are astonished that the bakery is closed on those days.
At the Maus bakery, no frozen rolls of dough are used. Ingredients come from local sources, and the dough is mixed and shaped by hand, and baked - in the classic traditional fashion. In this way, Maus says his product cannot be compared with the bread you buy in a supermarket, speaking from the standpoint of quality. And his bread rolls cost a few cents more because of that. Traditional bakeries have to pay workers who bake in the night, and he emphasizes that he uses high-quality ingredients for his baked goods. But he says that when the baked goods become too expensive, “Then customers are no longer willing to pay the price. And employee wages cannot be increased indefinitely.”
Not enough employees for seven days a week
It used to be that there were enough young people who wanted to learn the trade but this is no longer the case. Rolf Maus has lost several employees and is urgently looking for new ones. He tries to attract potential workers with much higher wages on Sundays. Because he doesn’t want his workers to be on the job seven days a week, he has had to shut down on Sundays and Mondays.
But Maus is not the only one who has noticed the shortage of workers in the bakery business. Elke Siewert of the Rhein-Sieg bakers’ guild said she thinks it is difficult to find young people to enter the trade because of the image connected with a career as a baker. Many young people want to attend university to study, and jobs involving craftsmanship are no longer in focus. Parents and teachers have much influence here, even if university is not always the right path for every student. There is evidence is in the large number of students who drop out of university.
Occupation of baker undervalued
Britta Markmann, who runs a traditional bakery in Friesdorf together with her husband, shares this opinion. Their family business currently has enough employees and even two trainees. But Markmann confirmed to GA that she, too, worries about a future shortage of skilled workers. In schools, little attention is paid to the profession, although the training offers very good career prospects. Many bakeries were interested in taking their apprentices into the company after they completed their apprenticeship.
All of those interviewed agreed that the profession of baker is under-appreciated in society. The work is versatile and useful: "A baker sees at the end of the day, what he or she has done. That's the beauty of the craft," said Siewert. Now on offer is a trial program which offers the opportunity for those interested to combine university study with an education in craftsmanship.
Orig. text: Josephine Jona, Translation: ck