MTP 2021 Trainee Program group

The Trainee Program at Mercer Timber Products

At Mercer, we understand that the training and development of young talent is integral to our growth as a company. To capture this, Mercer Timber Products (MTP) implemented a Trainee Program, aimed at graduates of technical colleges, vocational schools, and universities. The first year of the program was launched in 2019, with a total of three trainees entering the 24-month program. The program resulted in the hiring of all trainees into full-time positions best suited to their strengths and interests.

Due to the previous success of the program, the program was held again in 2021, where Mercer Timber Products was able to recruit four trainees with very different educational backgrounds. In May 2022, we introduced you to our four trainees at their halfway point in the program, sharing their experiences thus far.

Since then, all four trainees have been brought into full-time roles. We asked them to share what they are doing at Mercer Timber Products today.

Elena Neumeister

“After working in numerous departments in administration, I was able to complete my trainee program after only 15 months and am now working as the assistant to the management team. Here, I take on a very wide range of day-to-day tasks and am also involved in various projects, such as coordinating office moves and refurbishments.”

Elena Neumeister, MTP trainee, stands in the log yard 2022

Elena Neumeister joined the trainee program in administration at Mercer Timber Products in October 2021. During her time, she led the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion project, with the main goal of increasing the proportion of women at our plant.

Elena holds a bachelor’s degree in English/American Studies and Intercultural Business Communication from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena.

Sascha Hoffman

“Over the course of the trainee program, I was mainly deployed in production. From the log yard to the sawmill, kilns, planer mills and finally production planning, I passed through many interesting stations. Due to personnel changes in the company, a position became vacant in Production Planning and Control. So I was able to finish the program early and have been an employee in this department since the beginning of 2023. I now primarily take care of the timber stock in the log yard, as well as the daily cutting in the sawmill. 

Production planning is the interface between production, sales and logistics; therefore, it’s a very interesting and extensive job where you learn something new every day.”

Sascha Hoffmann, MTP trainee, stands in the log yard 2022

Sascha Hoffmann studied forestry at the Technical University of Dresden in Tharandt and successfully completed the degree of Graduate Forester (Diplom-Forstwirt). His knowledge of forestry and understanding of wood’s future potential made his application a perfect fit for the team.

Felix Schultz

“In August 2022, I successfully completed the trainee program and took up the position of Operating Technician at our power plant. My responsibilities include predictive maintenance and optimization of all components of the power plant, as well as supporting the planning of power plant revisions.”

Felix Schultz, MTP trainee, stands in the log yard 2022

Felix Schultz completed an apprenticeship as a mechanic and, in 2020, decided to pursue further training to become an industrial foreman in metal. He successfully completed the training in the summer of 2021, joining Mercer Timber Products as a trainee shortly thereafter.

Christian Lenk

“Since completing the trainee program in October 2022, I have been working in the area of energy and production data acquisition. This position reports to our Managing Director, Torsten Kröger. My tasks include structuring existing production and energy data and merging them into central databases. In the upcoming weeks, we will be going live with an energy-controlling tool. Another area of responsibility involves increasing the energy efficiency of our drying kilns in line with the Mercer-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030. Furthermore, I am also tasked with optimizing our energy consumption throughout the plant, as well as setting up charging stations for employee electric vehicles. 

Christian Lenk, MTP trainee, stands in the log yard 2022

During Christian’s time in the trainee program, he supervised the dismantling of the A3 sorting and bundling line, as well as supported the implementation of SiPal using RFID technology to control the logistics of sawn timber packages.

Christian Lenk first completed his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, with a focus on production, at Ernst Abbe University, followed by his master’s degree.


We wish our colleagues all the best and much success in their new positions.