Step into the world of technical talent with the Junior Practical Program

In June 2023, together with a team of partners in Zeeland Flanders, we launched an exciting journey: the Junior Practice Program (JPP). Our mission? Nothing less than to nurture and develop outstanding technical talent in the region.

In today's world where technological advances are all around us, finding technical talent is increasingly challenging. The JPP Program, an ambitious pilot in partnership with educational institution Scalda, is our answer to this growing need. Together with industry partners - Cargill, Elopak, Yara Sluiskil, Zeeland Refinery, Trinseo, EPZ, and ICL-IP Terneuzen B.V. - we are taking on the challenge of discovering and training technical talent in the coming years. Our dream? A flying start for the program, so that we can further expand it to the entire province of Zeeland and region of West Brabant, in cooperation with even more inspiring companies.

As Tabita Verburg, JPP Dow project leader, aptly says, “The JPP Program brings together passion, ambition, opportunity and future for all students, education and industry. The JPP Program is not just another education; it is an opportunity for all participants to discover and unlock their potential, building together a promising future in the world of engineering.”

As Tabita Verburg, JPP Dow project leader, aptly says: "The JPP Program brings together passion, ambition, opportunities and future for all students, education and industry. The JPP Program is not just an education; it is an opportunity for all participants to discover and further develop their potential, and thus jointly build a promising, sustainable future in the world of technology & innovation."

But what does the JPP Program actually entail? 
It is a four-year VTT program for Process Engineering & Maintenance at levels 3 and 4, open to students as young as 16. What makes this program so attractive is that students gain valuable work experience in addition to their regular training program. This is done through "apprentice" days, where they perform activities in a simulated business environment, gain know-how, develop skills, evaluate their work and reflect on their performance. In addition, they are given weekly opportunities to gain practical experience, and there will be longer periods during the training where they work on site for several days. During these "BPV" (Professional Practice Training) periods, they will be supervised by experienced professionals who will instruct, observe and provide valuable feedback.

Pieter Smet, senior operator at LHC, emphasizes, "Thanks to the revamped design of the program, we expect fewer students to drop out during their studies. In fact, students are given the freedom to choose companies where they want to follow the program."

This allows them to explore the industry, gain various experiences and discover which company they are the best match with. We ensure that they get a realistic vocational picture by working in the field early in their education, which significantly increases their chances of a great career after graduation.

Klaus Praet, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist: "This program promises to be an exciting journey for all involved. Together with our partners, we will guide students on their journey to a promising future, bridging the gap between school and practice."

On September 28 we welcomed all participating students: their first company visit to Dow Terneuzen, where they will be taken into the fascinating world of chemistry. Then, on October 5, an official kick-off is planned, organized by Scalda and all partner companies. From that moment on, the students will actually start working on their training program.

Want to know more about the program?

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Do you want to join one of our events? Check out our event-calandar to see where we can meet-up. 

Listen to the Podcast with Anton van Beek

Listen to the Podcast via the link below, in which Maikel Harte talks to Anton van Beek about the sustainable ambition of Dow Terneuzen.