The MAPAL employee Bakr Chareeb in front of his grinding machine.

"I love the variety of tasks carried out in circular grinding. I enjoy being able to use both my hands and my head along with the various tool types from job to job."

Bakr Chareeb, CNC Circular Grinder

Bakr Chareeb left his home city of Latakia in Syria in 2015. Arriving in Hamburg, he made his way south to Altenstadt via Frankfurt and Munich. When we offered the young man the opportunity to complete a traineeship with the company in autumn 2016, he grabbed it with both hands. Since then, Bakr Chareeb has become a full-time employee as a CNC circular grinder and gets on well with his colleagues.


Bakr, how did you end up working at the MAPAL Group?The immigration office had placed me in communal accommodation in Altenstadt. I then went looking for a job because, well, I also needed to get out of the house. I didn’t have a work permit at this stage. So, I started doing some voluntary work at the AWO (Workers’ Welfare Association). There, I learned that MILLER was offering traineeships to refugees. A MILLER employee, who also does voluntary work at the AWO, recommended me to the managers. That was my chance, and I took it.

The traineeship was your “foot in the door”, so to speak?
Exactly. I was allowed to work directly on the machine, even during my traineeship. The work suited me, and I enjoyed it. I then applied for a position at MILLER soon after. In the beginning, my job was to insert tools into the machine. After a while, my team leader taught me CNC programming. And my colleagues were also very helpful right from the start. They showed me how to use the measuring devices and taught me all about regrinding. I love the variety of tasks carried out in circular grinding. I enjoy being able to use both my hands and my head along with the various tool types from job to job. I learn something new every day. I really like that part of my job.

How do you get on with your team leader and colleagues?From day one, I was accepted by everyone without reservation. There are many different nationalities working at MILLER, everyone treats each other in an open and friendly manner. We sometimes even meet up away from work. The fact that my German is so good now is mainly down to the support of my team leader and colleagues. 

Are there any events that stand out during your time working at MILLER?
Yes, two in fact. In 2018, I suddenly found myself without a work permit. The relevant people at MILLER got in touch with the immigration office on my behalf and secured permanent residency for me. Another thing that stood out was this: I usually work three shifts. Recently, however, my wife and I became parents. I therefore approached my team leader and asked him whether I could move to two shifts. He appreciated my situation without hesitation and said yes. It was absolutely no problem. I know that something like that isn’t always a given, and that’s why I’m happy to work here.

Thank you very much for talking to us, Bakr.

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