Approximately 7.6 million tablets were produced last year for customers in more than 50 countries. The main product, accounting for half of the tablets produced, was Aspirin® in its various forms of administration and different applications. In addition, high production figures for the painkiller Aleve® also contributed to the positive looking balance sheet for the financial year 2009. Employees also shared in the company's success with 1.2 million Euros. "My special thanks goes to all those who, through their commitment and expertise, helped us to achieve this excellent result ", Schleicher said.
6th July 2009 was a very special date for the Bayer plant. On this day, it manufactured its 50 billionth Aspirin® in its production of self medication at the plant.
25 million Euros to safeguard the future of the industrial park
In total, 25 million Euros will have been invested in the industrial park over the course of 2010. Alongside the expansion of the LANXESS plant, a focus is on the area of self- medication of Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH. "Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH will supply the market with Aspirin Effect® from the end of this year. For the manufacture of this medication we are using completely new technology" Schleicher explained.
In order to ensure that the pharmaceutical plant is state of the art, the BBG is renovating the production and service area and modernising the automatic conveying systems as well as the packing machines. In addition, the replacement of the production control system with more modern systems is also planned.
A further important aspect for safeguarding the future of the site is the modernisation of the power supply network and the development of a new area with supply and waste pipes for use by the companies located here.
Training for qualified new recruits
Recruitment of qualified new employees is imperative for the future of the plant. In 2009 the 500th apprentice received his training contract from Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH. On 14th October 2009, the company was presented with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Halle-Dessau's apprenticeship award for its successful vocational training programme which has been in place since 1993.
In 2010 as well, BBG is training apprentices in six different professions; these include apprenticeships to become chemical laboratory assistants, industrial mechanics and electronic technicians. This year, for the first time, young people will start apprenticeships to become pharmaceutical assistants and warehouse officers. The profile is tailored perfectly to the changes in the field of self- medication. On 4th August of this year, 15 young people will start their apprenticeship at BBG. The company will train a further 16 young people for partners at the industrial park: Dow Wolff Cellulosics, Viverso, LANXESS, HiBis and Adsor-Tech GmbH.
Alongside apprenticeships, the plant also provides a variety of provisions for school pupils deciding what career path they would like to take. With the help of careers fairs, open days, plant visits and specialist lectures, young people are able to learn about different professions. Since 2009, the BBG has also provided a seminar for teachers in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Halle-Dessau.
Diverse provisions for health and retirement
During the press conference, Dr. Schleicher referred to a number of different measures which should serve to protect the health of employees. Alongside campaigns concerning road safety, the BBG, together with the pronova Betriebskrankenkasse (pronova health insurance company), organises a comprehensive range of preventative health measures. These include courses on healthy eating, as well as Nordic walking, back exercise classes and yoga; these courses are also accompanied by annual blood donation drives in cooperation with the German Red Cross. For the apprentices, health provisions are a permanent feature on their training plan. The programme extends over all three years of the apprenticeship programme and is tailored to the requirements of young people in today's world of work. It has been well received by participants.
In conclusion Dr. Schleicher discussed the company retirement provisions within the Bayer group. Retirement provisions are constantly being adapted to meet legal and social requirements and are paid for by both employees and employer. There are two options, the first is provided by the Bayer retirement fund and it applies to all employees who were given a permanent contract up until the end of 2004. The second is the "BayerPLUS" provision, which is made up of a two tier company retirement provision and is applicable for all employees who started after 2005. In addition employees can add to their retirement fund by paying in lump sums annually.