Commentary of Gregor Spengler, etma Secretary General

A career in the tubes business:
Sustainable and rewarding in every respect

Forward-looking packaging with excellent job prospects and career opportunities

The European tube industry is an important, yet often overlooked part of the packaging sector when it comes to choosing a career. We encounter tubes in everyday life from morning to night. However, this hardly leads people to take the tube industry into consideration when choosing a career. Nevertheless, jobs in the tube industry offer considerable prospects and good career opportunities for a wide range of qualifications, professions and areas of work.

The versatility of tubes made of aluminium, plastic or laminate with their wealth of positive properties and their wide range of applications in a variety of industries ensures a stable demand for the modern and contemporary packaging material tube. For the consumer, the tube often looks like a simple commodity at first glance. But this is far from the case. Their production is complex and requires a considerable amount of expertise along the entire value chain.

Its wide range of applications in the medical and pharmaceutical, dental care, cosmetics and personal care, food, household and technical products sectors ensure the continued positive development of the tube sector with its many attractive facets. Specialists with a wide range of training and qualifications, skills and backgrounds will find interesting entry-level and career opportunities here.

Reliable future prospects and a clear focus on sustainability

Especially in turbulent and uncertain times like these, reliable future prospects play an important role when choosing a career. And these are better in the tube industry than in many other sectors. Despite economic fluctuations, the demand for tubes in the key industries remains stable. Other sectors are much more cyclical and therefore more volatile. The tube industry has impressively proven to be an anchor of stability, not least in the economically difficult last few years. In addition, the increasing use of tubes in new areas of application is leading to further growth and opening up new and promising career paths for newcomers and experienced specialists alike.

And depending on your personal interests and inclinations, a wide range of different fields of activity with corresponding career opportunities open up here. Depending on the level of qualification and training, these include challenging tasks and positions of responsibility in purchasing, product development and design, production and quality assurance, logistics and supply chain management, marketing and sales.

One of the most important reasons for the good career and future prospects in the tube industry is the industry's continuous striving for innovation, particularly in the area of sustainability. In this way, resources are efficiently utilised and conserved in the interests of a responsible approach to our planet and better prospects for future generations. The current focus here is on material reduction, the use of recycled materials, design for recycling, the development of new materials and environmentally friendly production processes.

Packaging is often misunderstood by consumers as waste. Instead, it ensures that products arrive safely and well protected at the consumer's home and can be consumed on a daily basis. This means that the resources used to produce the packaged products are not wasted. The carbon footprint of the packaged products is usually many times larger than the footprint of the packaging.

The development of more environmentally friendly packaging solutions and production processes requires specialised expertise in order to meet the numerous and high demands placed on sustainable concepts. Specialists in research and development, materials science and engineering, quality assurance and legal compliance are therefore in high demand. However, this is by no means limited to the sustainability and environmental sector. From product development to marketing and sales, the tube industry needs a diverse range of talent. Engineers and technicians work on the development of new production techniques and the optimisation of production lines. In marketing and sales, creativity and ideas as well as a good feel for market developments and trends are required to efficiently promote and successfully sell tubes as the ideal packaging solution. And in the HR department, clever minds are needed to develop new forms of work and intelligent work structures that correspond to the changed framework conditions in the world of work and the changing mindsets of the relevant target groups.

Exciting opportunities to work on an international level

There is another reason why entering the tube industry is extremely rewarding: the European tube industry is not only a leader on our continent, but also worldwide. This opens up exciting opportunities to work on an international level and gain valuable experience. The globalisation of markets requires an understanding of cultural differences, diversity and variable business practices, which makes the tube industry an exciting and enriching field of work for internationally oriented professionals.

The tube industry therefore not only offers a wide range of career opportunities, but also the chance to make a positive contribution to the future of our planet. Employment in the tube industry can therefore be meaningful and go beyond the purpose of simply earning an income. Employees in the tube industry are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to developing sustainable and intelligent packaging solutions.

Meaningful contribution to society

This opportunity to help shape a more sustainable future can offer a high level of personal fulfilment and satisfaction. Many people aspire to work that not only provides financial security but also makes a meaningful contribution to society. The tube industry enables its professionals to use their skills and passions to develop innovative solutions to some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

And it is precisely this satisfaction with one's own work that should not be underestimated and which reiterates the opening thought of this article: working in the tube industry is far from being an abstract, point- or purposeless occupation. Rather, the employees produce a concrete product that is useful and meaningful for the individual consumer and society as a whole. They can see the result of their work every day, hold it in their hands and experience it in the truest sense of the word. Because we encounter tubes every day in our lives. And it is good like that.